This Thursday, two Toulouse Metro lines were still down after the previous day’s incident at Pate-d’Oie station. Bus users were beaten up.
It’s hot. People cling to each other. Hands cling to metal bars and beads of sweat on some foreheads. The scene didn’t take place on a nightclub dance floor: it was the opening doors of a Line 14 bus at 9:30 this morning.
A sigh of relief emanates from the fifteen passengers waiting at the Patte d’Oy stop, the previous two buses not even stopping. However, clearing the entry point means squaring the circle. “I don’t know if we can walk,” a mother with a son in a pram on the sidewalk says with disbelief on her face. On leave from work the previous day, this woman is tired: “Between the train strike and the non-running metro, we are forced to take the car”. She wants to go back.
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Amber, on the other hand, sneaks into the back of the bus. “It takes me more than 45 minutes instead of 20 to get to my summer job at McDonald’s,” grumbled the 19-year-old. I wish I had slept longer.” Next door, a man exclaims “Oh I’m sorry madam, didn’t I hurt you?” The victim of the accidental provocation quickly confirms.
“It’s Koh Lanta here!”
In the belly of the bus, someone makes a loud phone call. A man in a hat wipes two scratch slips with his fingernail. At the Saint-Cyprien-République stop, the doors open for Amir. The IT specialist at the district council is already two hours late. “Mashed potatoes but it’s Ko-landa here, he’s joking. I’m going to finish asking for telecommute.”
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“I didn’t stop there”. This verdict was written by the driver whose wealth did not change his good mood. He explains: “I only stop when people want to get off. If I have to do all the stops, I can’t close the doors. Oh, people aren’t happy, they’re wandering, but what do you want?” Ever since he hired it, at 6am, all the buses he drives are just as full as this one. “If there were more drivers, we wouldn’t have to shield them like that, he laments. We send buses to rural areas where there are no cats, when the queues are full.” And the situation should not progress. On Thursday evening, the metro was still not running.
Toulouse: Both metro lines are at a standstill this Thursday, line A may partially reopen by the end of the day
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