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Posts Tagged ‘Paris metro’

French technological innovation and efficiency for cutting costs

November 25th, 2011 2 comments

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, and for those celebrating this weekend (comme moi), enjoy the festivities!

The Economist has an interesting piece in this week’s issue that talks about the newly automated line 1 of the Paris metro system which was completely outfitted with new technology and revamped to make it driverless.

Besides having better and more service during rush hour and a lower risk of accidents (automated line 14, which I take quite often, has had no accidents since its launch in 1998), the modernization of services also results in a welcome side effect for many: these automated lines will not be affected by the occasional public transport worker strikes since there are no drivers (see excerpt below).

What is your view on technology and innovation in France? Do you think labor costs are too high and discourages employers from hiring more often?

“…Strict labour laws, costly payroll charges and erratic strikes seem to make French firms especially keen on technology. Supermarkets, for instance, have enthusiastically adopted self-checkout tills. “All French hypermarkets have adopted this strategy over the past few years,” says Alexis Lecanuet at Accenture, a consultancy. The idea is to speed up queues at peak times for impatient non-technophobes carrying light baskets. But it also cuts costs. “Self-checkout has worked better in countries where labour is expensive,” says Serguei Netessine, a professor at INSEAD, a business school.

France excels at high-tech services: credit-card operated petrol stations, touch-screen fast-food counters, automatic car-washing. Two years ago, McDonalds pioneered the use of touch-screen, credit-card-based ordering in its French fast-food restaurants. Eléphant Bleu, a self-service high-pressure car-washing chain, has 472 outlets in France, and is expanding. All this in a country where the labour code runs to over 3,300 pages, an employer pays an average of 39% in payroll taxes, and unemployment is at 10%. Spot the connection.”

Paris transport system slowed down by snow, Eiffel Tower shut

December 8th, 2010 No comments

So after much of France was hit by significant amounts of snow (15 inches in Lyon, etc.), Paris is finally getting hit by some winter weather (very uncharacteristic for Paris in general, especially at this time of year). However it is not as bad, and total snowfall for the Paris region is predicted to be 5 to 6 inches maximum. But you can never be 100% sure. For the latest weather conditions, check out Méteo France’s map of weather warnings (you’ll see the weather warnings are not limited to Paris).

Right now the Paris RATP public transport system is experiencing significant delays, with the bus network “paralyzed” as crews clear the streets (they are not used to snow here). Metro lines 5, 6, 8, 9 and 13 are experiencing delays. RER A and B are having some technical problems as well. See their site for more information. You can also see for RER trains updated information on this site.

National railway operator SNCF has also warned of 30 minute delays or more for some TGV’s (high-speed trains). France24 reports on traffic delays due to weather and that the Eiffel Tower was shut down today.

For up-to-date air travel info, check with your airline. BBC says that Charles de Gaulle airport had temporarily stopped flights.
You can see some video here.

I know I walked to lunch today from my office, the snow was coming down quite hard and the streets had yet to be cleared. Good luck and try to enjoy the beauty of the snow!

French chefs serve it up in Paris metro, Nov. 23-25

November 23rd, 2010 No comments

Now you don’t have to pay les yeux de la tête to enjoy French gastronomy.

From Nov. 23 to Nov. 25, the Paris metro station Miromesnil at Espace Mezzanine (on lines 9 and 13) will play host to some quality chefs, at 12:30pm and 6pm (and 12:30, 4, 6pm on Nov. 23). Info below taken from the RATP website. Bon appétit!

La plus grande cuisine de France dans le métro
Du 23 au 25 novembre, à la station Miromesnil, de grands chefs vous proposent de découvrir la grande cuisine pour tous.

Après le succès de l’animation l’année dernière, les grands chefs (re) – descendent dans le Métro.

Du 23 au 25 novembre, la station Miromesnil (lignes 9 et 13), se transforme en relais gastronomique, sept chefs viennent à la rencontre des voyageurs distiller recettes et astuces et faire découvrir la grande cuisine pour tous.

Cette année Alain Senderens du Senderens à Paris, Antoine Westermann du Drouant à Paris, Bruno Doucet de la Régalade à Paris, Laurent André du Royal Monceau à Paris, Patrice Caillault du Domaine de Rochevilaine à Billiers, Patrice Hardy de La Truffe Noire à Neuilly et le boulanger Eric Kayser des Boulangeries Eric Kayser se mettront aux fourneaux pour vous donner leurs petits secrets pour manger mieux en dépensant moins.

Une opération, menée en partenariat avec Marc de Champerard, initiateur du guide du même nom.

Les grands chefs (re)-descendent dans le Métro du 23 au 25 novembre, deux fois par jour à 12h30 et 18h00 (12h30, 16h00 et 18h00 le mercredi) à la station Miromesnil Espace Mezzanine Nord

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