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French Transit Strike - Bus nightmare

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French Transit Strike - Bus nightmare

Old 11-25-07, 10:09 PM
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Dahon.Steve
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French Transit Strike - Bus nightmare

https://news.yahoo.com/photo/071119/i...3193409823.jpg
https://news.yahoo.com/photo/071119/i...2774856917.jpg
https://news.yahoo.com/photo/071119/i...r583629468.jpg

I was just looking at the news and there appeared to be a transit strike in France. I thought the French were bike commuters but it looks like far too many are dependant on the bus. It's insane as you can see all those women and MEN who are just standing there waiting for a bus to be transported about five miles. Incredible.

Looking at those desperate pictures, there is no way, would you see me waiting for that bus. I really believe it's the fear of being criticized in a bike commuter that keeps the masses waiting in those long lines.
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Old 11-25-07, 11:31 PM
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Yeah, what you said! Even if I wasn't a bike commuter, if I saw a line like that I wouldn't get in line. I'd walk to the nearest bike shop and become a bike commuter that instant. What ever happened to the path of least resistance?
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Old 11-25-07, 11:58 PM
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Buses make a great combination with bikes for alternate methods for commuting... I fail to understand why you have to attack the people who normally take the bus and are suffering because of the transit strike.

Would you rather they were all driving SUVs?
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Old 11-26-07, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
I fail to understand why you have to attack the people who normally take the bus and are suffering because of the transit strike.
No problem. I don't mind helping you to understand. The reason is: They aren't riding bikes.
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Old 11-26-07, 01:23 AM
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France is a great bicycling country - really ahead of the game.

I think that when you see folks stranded in the land of bicycle heaven, you have to remember that bicycling in France has many of the same drawbacks as bicycling everywhere - commuter's health issues, commuter route road safety/congestion, distance issues, etc.

The good news is that for many commuters in France, the bicycle was a viable option that would not be availalable to commuters in many other countries.
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Old 11-26-07, 06:15 AM
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I fail to see why one would complain about using mass transit. So what if they do not ride a bike. Big freaking deal. Complain complain.....
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Old 11-26-07, 06:37 AM
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I was in Paris at the start of the strikes in October. It was a nightmare and we walked a lot due to the Metro running at reduced rates. I think a lot more people were riding because of the strike but the traffic was at a virtual standstill due to people driving instead of using public transport.

One thing that did get people on their bikes (in London) was the Tube bombings in 2005.
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Old 11-26-07, 06:59 AM
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For 5 miles or less and weren't already equipped to ride to work, I'd just walk. It's only an hour's walk.
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Old 11-26-07, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
For 5 miles or less and weren't already equipped to ride to work, I'd just walk. It's only an hour's walk.
It would probably take twice as long in Paris considering the hordes of people doing likewise (did I mention the sidewalks were packed with people?) and the fact you have to cross busy streets every 5 minutes or so.

Saying that though, I wouldn't wait too long for a bus that would be travelling at less than walking pace anyway.
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Old 11-26-07, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
France is a great bicycling country - really ahead of the game.

I think that when you see folks stranded in the land of bicycle heaven, you have to remember that bicycling in France has many of the same drawbacks as bicycling everywhere - commuter's health issues, commuter route road safety/congestion, distance issues, etc.

The good news is that for many commuters in France, the bicycle was a viable option that would not be availalable to commuters in many other countries.
Exactly.

From my understanding, France is supposed to be bicycle heaven yet, why were all those young men waiting for the bus in the middle of a trainst strike? But what's keeping them on that long line is fear of being seen on a bicycle or just plain ignorance with regards to human powered machines.

I've been a part of the New York Transit strike and I walked. I know how horrible it can be in the middle of the winter however, it had very little effect on me. I'm not against public transit at all and use it every day. However, should the trains stop moving, I'm going to choose a simple alternative that's worked for man since inception. Walking.

That long line at the bus stop is the result of fear, ignorance or both.
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Old 11-26-07, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Exactly.

From my understanding, France is supposed to be bicycle heaven yet, why were all those young men waiting for the bus in the middle of a trainst strike? But what's keeping them on that long line is fear of being seen on a bicycle or just plain ignorance with regards to human powered machines. .
You know, one other possibility is that maybe not everybody has a bicycle in Paris. In the USA, it seems that everybody has a bicycle - many unused, of course. However, when I visit Europe, it occurs to me that there is a great lack of... junk. A lot of folks don't have a garage or an attic or a basement to store a bicycle. So, I suspect that if one isn't a regular bicycle rider, they might very well not have a bicycle laying about waiting for that once in seven years when the transit goes on strike.

I am willing to bet that in the USA, bicycles might very well outnumber humans. Unlike humans, bicycles never die, they just get buried alive.

I don't think this is the case in many European cities.
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Old 11-27-07, 01:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mike View Post
You know, one other possibility is that maybe not everybody has a bicycle in Paris. In the USA, it seems that everybody has a bicycle - many unused, of course. However, when I visit Europe, it occurs to me that there is a great lack of... junk. A lot of folks don't have a garage or an attic or a basement to store a bicycle. So, I suspect that if one isn't a regular bicycle rider, they might very well not have a bicycle laying about waiting for that once in seven years when the transit goes on strike.

I am willing to bet that in the USA, bicycles might very well outnumber humans. Unlike humans, bicycles never die, they just get buried alive.

I don't think this is the case in many European cities.
I saw a quote somewhere that said the US has the HIGHEST per capita ownership of bicycles... but the lowest USAGE statistics.

Kind of sad, huh? Consumerism at it's finest.
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Old 11-27-07, 08:59 AM
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France might be cycling heaven, but Paris specifically is a typical over-crowded Western European city where cycle commuting is not for the feint-hearted. Trafiic was probably even worse during the strikes, when more people were taking their cars to get to work.

I have never understood the appeal of busses though. When at school i used to cycle the 5 miles each way rather than take advantage of the free bus pass since i could leave later and arrive earlier!
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Old 11-27-07, 09:09 AM
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Buses are decent for commuters that have routes on freeways with HOV lanes. Other than that, routes in a city without bus lanes and \ or on freeways without said lanes are annoying as heck.
Our light rail is quite a bit more efficient than the buses being mostly separated from regular traffic.
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Old 11-27-07, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
Exactly.

From my understanding, France is supposed to be bicycle heaven yet, why were all those young men waiting for the bus in the middle of a trainst strike? But what's keeping them on that long line is fear of being seen on a bicycle or just plain ignorance with regards to human powered machines.

I've been a part of the New York Transit strike and I walked. I know how horrible it can be in the middle of the winter however, it had very little effect on me. I'm not against public transit at all and use it every day. However, should the trains stop moving, I'm going to choose a simple alternative that's worked for man since inception. Walking.

That long line at the bus stop is the result of fear, ignorance or both.

How long was the bus journey that these guys in Paris were waiting for? We had to wait for a bus at CDG as it was about a 20km walk into the city.
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Old 11-27-07, 10:48 AM
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I just returned from paris and didn't have one problem at all. You know why? Velib!
So many people were riding bikes around, and many were on the velib bikes. Talking with friends there they mentioned that since the velibs were put into use biking in paris has dramatically increased. The infrastructure was also improved as part of the velib plan. There were many separated bike ways or lanes for only bikes, bus, and taxis. One area around Austerlitz station, which is a fairly new area, had bike lanes going in both directions in the street as well as a pedestrian and bike way in the middle of the road. Paris's bike infrastructure was better than ANY american city i have had the pleasure to ride a bike around.

I think that the velib bikes allow people to try out commuting by bike, and if they like it they will continue and buy their own bike.
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Old 11-27-07, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
Buses make a great combination with bikes for alternate methods for commuting... I fail to understand why you have to attack the people who normally take the bus and are suffering because of the transit strike.

Would you rather they were all driving SUVs?
+1. Down with bike-only elitism.
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