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Paris transport chief hopes to be running at 70% capacity when lockdown ends in May

Japanese tourists wear face protection masks in the metro in Paris as the country is hit by an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), France, March 11, 2020.
Japanese tourists wear face protection masks in the metro in Paris as the country is hit by an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), France, March 11, 2020. © Johanna Geron, Reuters

French RATP boss Catherine Guillouard said on Friday that the transport authorities were working towards having 70% of the Paris transport network operational by May 11 up from 30% now, ready for when France exits its lockdown.

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Making sure 70% of the transport network was running would be equivalent to delivering about eight million trips a day, she told France Inter radio. The system is currently at 4 percent capacity, or 500,000 trips a day.

RATP employees have been supplied with masks, Guillouard said. Social distancing, on the other hand, will not be possible. "It's absolutely not a question of profitability but of feasibility,” she said. If the RATP insisted on social distancing, they would only be able to provide about 2 million trips per day, she added.

Guillouard urged companies to continue allowing employees to work remotely "for a while" and to stagger their working hours. Additionally, the government would have to allow her agents to issue tickets to anyone not wearing a mask on public transportation. "If we force people to wear masks, there must also be sanctions,” she said. “We must be given the legal and regulatory basis to do so."

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

 

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