Strike-a-thon! It’s a sad fact that French transport workers will strike at the drop of a hat …and combine that with an international sporting event, the EURO16 with all eyes on France… it’s strike cat-nip: irresistible! The coming weeks will include bus strikes, train strikes, striking pilots and air-traffic controllers, protest marches, striking taxis, and who-knows-what-else. Here’s a few work-arounds for dealing with the strikes in Nice:
If the Airport Express Bus is on strike you still have many choices:
- You can take an overpriced taxi but it’s not recommended, as they overcharge tourists even more than usual during a strike. The taxis are one of the main unions behind almost every strike, so try not to reward them…
- Get on the free airport wifi and order an Uber-X for half the price of a taxi (20-25€)… it will be there in 10 minutes.
- Order a private transfer ahead of time (35€) and breathe easy.
- …Or you can always walk out to the Promenade and try to catch a city bus for 1.50€ (if they are not on strike as well!) but know that if a bus is already full, it won’t even stop, so you could be there for a while… (then just call an Uber for plan B).
- For your return flight, leave for the airport really early, as bus/train strikes tend to snarl up traffic, and if the taxis are striking, they usually block the entrance to the airport to try to make everyone miss their flight! Sympa.
Around Town During a Bus Strike
Overall, the best solution to bus strikes is just to use Uber to replace a bus trip, even a short one: Uber is 6€ for around 5 kilometers, so if you are 4 people going to the Matisse museum, that’s the same price as 4 bus tickets, and infinitely more comfortable and friendly.
Bus strikes are a great time to break out of your routine and try something new: why not rent a Velo Blue share bike for 1€, jump in one of those Pedicab bike taxis for short hops, or if you have a lot of museums to see, break down and get the French Riviera Pass which includes the Hop-on Hop-off bus plus all museum admissions.
Getting Around a Train Strike
During a train strike, you can easily replace that train trip by either booking a private transfer (not too expensive if you are 3-4 people), or if you are 1 or 2, simply book a ride-share with BlaBla Car (very cheap!) to replace that striking train!
By the way, these current transport strikes are due to a tiny reform to the French labor law that hardly affects anything: it makes businesses more likely to hire new workers by making it slightly less impossible to lay off unproductive workers with jobs-for-life if the business is losing money. Even though this tiny law is sure to pass in June, it is guaranteed that the unions will strike to the max all the way through the EURO16 Football/Soccer Championships, just to make their point by inconveniencing as many innocent people as possible. Merci!
Photo Credit: Striking Students by Papillus. licensed under GNU Free Documentation License