Sunday, 1 June 2008
The metro is a bus today
I have to hand it to the RATP, it has done a good job at continuing service while a portion of the line 3 metro was under construction. I admit I was a bit panicked upon seeing that on May 31st and June 1st, line 3 between Villiers and Pont de Levallois would not be in operation.
However, it turns out that buses are being used to shuttle people from stop to stop. Thus, our section of Avenue de Villiers, which is unaccustomed to bus service (except for Noctilien service) there have been buses with the sign "service special" traveling to and fro. It was funny to see a bus going down our street, and a little shocking to see how packed the bus was. I've not seen any bus that crowded since the transport strike in October. Even then they weren't this consistently crowded. When our kids saw a crowd of people waiting on "our" street corner, they thought it was a line for the recycling bin, as the temporaty stop was positioned next to the big green canister.
There were orange-vested RATP workers at the closed metro stops guiding people to the special service buses. It was a well organized effort.
My brother-in-law visiting from Brussels actually ended up taking this line to get to our house. We tried to warn him. But he and his luggage hopped onto the overly crowded bus. According to Uncle D, he was quite shocked at how civil, polite and even jovial the crowd was. For many this was a big inconvenience, but they were meeting it with the usual calm that the French uncannily display in such situations. Bravo RATP.