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10 apps to make your life easier during a French strike

If you find yourself in France during a strike, do not fear. Here are some apps that will help you get around.

10 apps to make your life easier during a French strike
(Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

Strikes are commonplace in France, and are often highly disruptive, but there are ways to make life run more smoothly during a strike period, including these helpful apps.

SNCF Connect

If you have any train travel planned over a French strike, then this is the app to keep an eye on. You’ll be able to get up to date information, including traffic alerts, for your journey. You can also book tickets on the app.

The SNCF website will publish traffic timetables 24 hours ahead of planned strikes, and if you have tickets booked SNCF will alert you if your train is cancelled.

Essence – Gasoil Now 

With a 4.6 star rating in the Apple App store, this programme will help you find the nearest filling station, and compare nearby options based on price. The app also offers real-time user reports, which can help you avoid long queues. Alternatively, you can download the application “Gaspal” to help navigate to nearby affordable filling stations. The app is available in Spain and Italy as well. 


If you’re in a city on a strike day, it’s likely that public transport will be disrupted – but there are other transport options including hiring a bike.

Most major French cities have public bike rental options controlled through an app – Le Vélo in Marseille, Vélo Bleu in Nice, and Vélo-V in Lyon. 

In Paris, the primary choice would be Vélib which was launched in 2007. With over 1,400 docking points across the Greater Paris area, Vélib stations are usually easy to find. You can also opt for an electric bike (these are coloured blue, instead of green). 

You can rent the bike for 45 minutes for just €3 or you can consider a 24-hour rental, which would cost €5. Normally, at the Vélib station you should be able to enter your credit card information and make an account, but if that is not available then you can do so online.

READ MORE: How to stop worrying and learn to love French strikes

Keep in mind that during strikes, bike-hire services are in high demand so it may be difficult to find an available bike. The application offers a mapping service to help you find available bikes and parking spaces across the city.

Google Maps and Citymapper 

If you’re in a city, the other option is to walk, so it’s a good idea to stock up on map applications before a French strike. These will help you find the fastest way to get around, though you will want to have more than one downloaded to help double check that the information is correct. 

Bonjour RATP

This is the city of Paris’ metro system application. You can map out your trip and you can also check the “Traffic” update to see which lines are running and which are impacted by disruptions. The application Île de France Mobilités covers the whole of the greater Paris region.

If you are planning to visit other French cities during a strike, it is also worth downloading their local transport applications to get the most up-to-date information. If you plan to visit Lyon, the app “TCL” will give you city-specific information. Similarly, when visiting Bordeaux you can build your itinerary with the app “TBM” and for Marseille you can download “RTM.” 


While Uber might be the rideshare app you would normally opt for, using an alternative may be better during a strike when there is high demand. Services may be more expensive than usual, as well as being in high demand, so having a few applications, such as Bolt, Heetch, or Marcel may help you to find a rideshare faster and for a better price.


If you are planning to be in Paris, and you need to get somewhere by a designated time, you may want to consider booking a taxi in advance. One way you can do this is with the G7 app, which connects you with an official Paris taxi – the same ones that you can hail in the street, but the app allows you to book up to 30 days in advance, so it’s handy for late night or early morning airport runs. It also has an option to select ‘pet friendly’ if you’re travelling with an animal. 

Payment works in the same way as Uber – users save their credit card information on the app and therefore do not need to pay on board.  At the conclusion of the ride, the fare will be charged and the user will receive a voucher by email. 


This translation app might be a lifesaver for you during a French strike if you are feeling less confident about your language-abilities. It is quick and has a microphone, so it can play your translation aloud too. You may also consider the Google Translate app. 

The Local 

You can keep up to date with all strike-related information both on The Local’s website at the dedicated “strikes” page, and on our mobile application. 


C’est la grève

This website allows you to see any ongoing or future strikes to take place in France. 

Bison futé

This traffic website offers detailed predictions for slowdowns on French motorways, as well as tips for which roads to avoid. 


This French government website offers an interactive map to help you keep track of fuel prices and availability across the country, which is especially helpful during nationwide strikes.

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Macron gives ground to allies in unpopular pension reform bid

President Emmanuel Macron's government on Sunday offered a concession on contested French pension reforms, seeking to shore up support from prospective right-wing allies ahead of the parliamentary debate.

Macron gives ground to allies in unpopular pension reform bid

People who began work between the ages of 20 and 21 will be able to retire at 63, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne told the JDD weekly, rather than the headline age of 64 that has unions and large swathes of the public bristling.

“We hear the request” of MPs from the conservative Republicans party, whose votes are needed to make up a majority for the reform, Borne said.

Republicans leader Eric Ciotti had earlier told the Parisien newspaper that the change would “secure a very large majority” of his MPs.

Although re-elected to the presidency last year, Macron also lost his parliamentary majority and has been forced either to cobble together compromises or ram through laws using an unpopular constitutional side door.

But he has stuck to the widely disliked pension reform, against which hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated and many workers went on strike in two days of mass action so far, with more planned on February 7 and 11.

READ ALSO: What to expect from Tuesday’s strike in France

Meanwhile the left-wing opposition in parliament has submitted thousands of amendments to stymie debate on the law.

Borne also acknowledged demands from the Republicans and Macron’s Democratic Movement allies for a 2027 review of the reform, which aims to bring the pensions system out of deficit by 2030.

And she said the government would pile pressure on companies to end the practice of letting go of older employees, which leaves many struggling to find work in their final years before pension age.

READ ALSO: 5 minutes to understand French pension reform

“Too often, companies stop training and recruiting older people,” Borne said.

“It’s shocking for the employees and it’s a loss to deprive ourselves of their skills.”

Government plans will force companies to regularly publish details of how many older workers they employ, with Labour Minister Olivier Dussopt on Saturday trailing financial penalties for those which fail to do so.

READ ALSO: ANALYSIS: Who is winning the battle over French pension reform?