Updated 19 November at 17:15
The first strike to hit the Geneva public transportation since 1987 is still in full force at this hour.
Parts of the city and the canton are completely cut out of bus service including the popular Lignon, St Jean, Charmilles, Servette, Chatelaîne and Champel neighborhoods.
Only the following routes are providing service as usual: 28, 32, 35, 36, 41, 43, 44, 45, 47, 51, 53, 54, 57, 61, B, D, F, M, S, T, V, W, X, Y and Z.
Due to anticipated work stoppage, the TPG began posting changes and updates via phone apps and electronic information boards at bus stops at 5:00.
Follow the TPG updates online: try here for information in French and English.
If you are driving take into consideration that more pedestrians and bikers are on the streets, as well as more vehicles. Geneva police is out in full force.
GENEVA, Switzerland – Get your walking shoes ready, Geneva bus drivers are set to strike for 24 hours starting Wednesday 19 November, after 93% of unionized employees balloted in favor of protesting against “the dismantling of public services and the removal of more than 100 jobs”.
The Transport Workers Union (SEV in French) says it “regrets the disruption caused” to bus users but that the strike was “inevitable.”
The SEV argues that reducing personnel goes counter to increased transportation demands, referring to the creation of new bus lines, including the CEVA project which unites the Geneva public transport system to the nation railways and to neighboring France.
These changes, the SEV says, has increased – not reduced – demands on TPG personnel.
The loss of these jobs will further deteriorate TPG employees’ working conditions and the services they provide. (…) Staff resources have not been adapted to the increasing demand. In fact, an additional 130 drivers are still needed to meet the current demand which has been aggravated by CEVA.”
The SEV says not only bus drivers’ conditions have deteriorated but that bus routine maintenance has been compromised due to the lack of personnel.
The strike is set to begin at 3:00 on Wednesday and to conclude a priori, on Thursday at the same time. Other control measures are not excluded until the budget is debated by the Geneva State Council in early December.
The TPG has confirmed having received notice of the strike and is warning residents transportation will be disrupted,
…. we hope to provide at least minimum service, however, not knowing how many drivers will exercise their right to strike that day, we do not know yet which lines will be operating. We can however, predict that bus schedules will be heavily disrupted. We invite you to check our website for further updates, likewise, make use of the TPG phone applications where we will provide information.
The TPG says it regrets the course of events as there is not much that can be done until the State Council meets again in December and refuses the union’s statement that an additional 130 bus drivers are still needed:
The current staff meets the needs and offers quality service to Geneva residents day in and day out.
Follow the TPG updates online – a new page will be online soon! However, the new, dedicated page keeps crashing.
Try here for French or here for English.
Photo at left courtesy of the TPG.