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Old 04-29-2016, 11:24 AM
 
4,142 posts, read 2,708,890 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
And the people working at the ticketing booths that are supposed to help tourists act in typical Parisian fashion and are completely unwilling to assist anyone. We asked for help in English, Spanish, Italian, and even broken French, but the woman working there just stared at us with clearly no intent on trying to help us. I know she isn't the actual metro itself, but it makes the experience of taking the Paris metro not so great.
I had that experience, too, on a few occasions. Even though my friend and I were speaking French to the guys at the ticket booth, they pretended not to understand us because they could tell from our non-native accents that we were foreigners. No one else ever had any problems understanding our French in France nor in any other francophone country that we went to, but the employees of the Paris metro refused to help us because they could not understand our non-Parisian accents.

It was so ridiculous, kind of like how it would be if a London ticket booth agent claimed that he couldn't understand us because of our American accents.

As far as the helpfulness of their staff, the Paris metro would be at or near the bottom of the list, IMO.
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Old 04-29-2016, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Louisville/LA
5,234 posts, read 12,515,776 times
Reputation: 2319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage 80 View Post
I had that experience, too, on a few occasions. Even though my friend and I were speaking French to the guys at the ticket booth, they pretended not to understand us because they could tell from our non-native accents that we were foreigners. No one else ever had any problems understanding our French in France nor in any other francophone country that we went to, but the employees of the Paris metro refused to help us because they could not understand our non-Parisian accents.

It was so ridiculous, kind of like how it would be if a London ticket booth agent claimed that he couldn't understand us because of our American accents.

As far as the helpfulness of their staff, the Paris metro would be at or near the bottom of the list, IMO.
Yeah the Parisians working at stores and hotels and restaurants were much friendlier than the ones working at the metro stations. I'm not trying to stereotype all Parisians and say that they're all rude to foreigners. They were no better or worse than other locals. It was the metro workers who were flat out rude. I remember my first time visiting Chicago, the CTA employee came out of her booth to come help us figure out how to buy the tickets and did the whole thing for us with a smile on her face showing us how to use the electronic ticketing machines. It was one of my first experiences in the Midwest, and my first experience with CTA, so that was a great first impression. In Madrid, the employees at the main offices where you receive your monthly passes were extremely helpful. They wanted to practice speaking English with me when they saw I'm from the US. And while I speak Spanish nearly fluently, I don't have the Spanish accent and still make mistakes, but the employees were very helpful in the office. The employees at my local metro stop weren't rude, just typical Spaniards. They were a bit busy socializing to realize problems sometimes, and were slow to respond, but were never rude when a pass didn't work or the turnstiles broke or when you asked them for directions. Paris is still the only city I've been to where people working in the metro are completely unwilling to assist tourists in ANY language unless it is French with a Parisian accent.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:00 AM
 
402 posts, read 440,952 times
Reputation: 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
Yeah the Parisians working at stores and hotels and restaurants were much friendlier than the ones working at the metro stations. I'm not trying to stereotype all Parisians and say that they're all rude to foreigners. They were no better or worse than other locals. It was the metro workers who were flat out rude. I remember my first time visiting Chicago, the CTA employee came out of her booth to come help us figure out how to buy the tickets and did the whole thing for us with a smile on her face showing us how to use the electronic ticketing machines. It was one of my first experiences in the Midwest, and my first experience with CTA, so that was a great first impression. In Madrid, the employees at the main offices where you receive your monthly passes were extremely helpful. They wanted to practice speaking English with me when they saw I'm from the US. And while I speak Spanish nearly fluently, I don't have the Spanish accent and still make mistakes, but the employees were very helpful in the office. The employees at my local metro stop weren't rude, just typical Spaniards. They were a bit busy socializing to realize problems sometimes, and were slow to respond, but were never rude when a pass didn't work or the turnstiles broke or when you asked them for directions. Paris is still the only city I've been to where people working in the metro are completely unwilling to assist tourists in ANY language unless it is French with a Parisian accent.
You just had one bad experience with a rude assistant, don't generalize. My guess is that that person probably just couldn't understand what you said, I'm French and I tend not to understand very well people who don't speak it fluently, I remember when I was in the US last year I was friend with a girl from Chile who spent 3 years in Paris working on her phD and I had a hard time understanding her in French so we just spoke in English. Her French was fine but the accent made it very difficult for me to understand what she meant most of the time and I had to make her repeat or had to guess what she tried to say.
French prononciation is very hard for foreigners who most of the time they can't pronounce sounds like "u" "an" "on" "in" "", which is fine it's not their first language but understanding foreigners can be pretty challenging and frustrating for both parties.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:34 PM
 
1 posts, read 646 times
Reputation: 10
Moscow. That is all.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
5,066 posts, read 1,559,117 times
Reputation: 3059
Recent article by an American who rode London's Underground system for a week — and thinks New York's subway will never catch up.

Why the London Underground is better than the NYC subway - Business Insider (17th August 2017)

It seems London Transport may have been more expensive than many systems over recent decades but it has been investing a lot in numerous major transport projects and upgrades.

The NYC Subway and Amtrak in NYC are now in need of major investment themselves. Which begs the question why isn't Trump making public transport a central part of this new infrastructure platform and especially in relation to his home town of NYC.

As for the the latest Amtrak cuts are just set to make things worse.

Every New York City Subway Line Is Getting Worse. Here's Why - New York Times

It took 50 years for the MTA to totally screw up the subway | New York Post

No 'Fairy Godmother' for the Subway: When $100 Billion Isn't Enough - New York Times

Why New York's subway delays are getting worse - Business Insider

How did New York's subway get so bad?

New York's railways are in terrible shape - The Economist

Amtrak at a Junction: Invest in Improvements, or Risk Worsening Problems - New York Times

Trump budget slashes federal aid for rail, long-distance Amtrak routes - Washington Post

Amtrak's $630m Trump budget cut could derail service in 220 US cities - Guardian

Last edited by Brave New World; 08-24-2017 at 12:36 PM..
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Old 08-24-2017, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Paris
1,266 posts, read 391,690 times
Reputation: 585
London is cleaner than Paris but ultra expensive... A parisian pays peanuts for his Navigo (73 euros /2 = 36 because half is reimbursed by companies). RERs, Metro, Buses, bikes and tramways, open bar everywhere even in the banlieue to go to CDG airport! At this price no wonder the floor isn't a mirror... :X
That's very french, pay the less possible even if the service becomes horrible(very important), just to go from A to B. Parisians are Ants.

Anyway the only one I like in my life was the Busan one lol, clean and small. I didn't specially like Tube because it's a mess with all the different zones, but it's always like that when you are a foreigner.
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Great Britain
5,066 posts, read 1,559,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokitobounto View Post
London is cleaner than Paris but ultra expensive... A parisian pays peanuts for his Navigo (73 euros /2 = 36 because half is reimbursed by companies). RERs, Metro, Buses, bikes and tramways, open bar everywhere even in the banlieue to go to CDG airport! At this price no wonder the floor isn't a mirror... :X
That's very french, pay the less possible even if the service becomes horrible(very important), just to go from A to B. Parisians are Ants.

Anyway the only one I like in my life was the Busan one lol, clean and small. I didn't specially like Tube because it's a mess with all the different zones, but it's always like that when you are a foreigner.
London is expensive but there has been a lot of investment, with a lot more planned and the current Mayor has frozen fares for the immediate future.

Crossrail will change things radiically in the next few years, as will the Northern Line Extension currently under construction, whilst London Overground is being extended and there are plans for the extension of the Bakerloo Line, Metropolitan Line and Dockland Light Railway, with Crossrail 2 and HS2 in the offing, whilst Thameslink will be completed in 2018.

Improvements & projects - Transport for London

Planning for the future - Transport for London

Improving the trains - Transport for London

New trains - Transport for London

London Underground S7 and S8 Stock - Wikipedia
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:10 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
5,591 posts, read 9,344,356 times
Reputation: 4176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave New World View Post

Which begs the question why isn't Trump making public transport a central part of this new infrastructure platform and especially in relation to his home town of NYC.
Over the past 10 years or so it is very clear that there is no consensus among powerful people in the United States, NO CONSENSUS, about how to proceed with infrastructure investment.

It seems we may be on the cusp of major revolutions in transportation needs and technologies, so it begs the question why invest billions to simply replace 1840s-1950s technology with more or less the same?

Of course there are other reasons for the US's lack of action, including mundane stupid politics.

Speaking of which, Trump is late to the game and he is not really a powerful person, but merely a lead actor in political theater which never really accomplishes much anyway.

Look elsewhere for answers to begged questions.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
5,066 posts, read 1,559,117 times
Reputation: 3059
Quote:
Originally Posted by bale002 View Post
Over the past 10 years or so it is very clear that there is no consensus among powerful people in the United States, NO CONSENSUS, about how to proceed with infrastructure investment.

It seems we may be on the cusp of major revolutions in transportation needs and technologies, so it begs the question why invest billions to simply replace 1840s-1950s technology with more or less the same?

Of course there are other reasons for the US's lack of action, including mundane stupid politics.

Speaking of which, Trump is late to the game and he is not really a powerful person, but merely a lead actor in political theater which never really accomplishes much anyway.

Look elsewhere for answers to begged questions.

Good Luck!
There has been a few positive developments such as the 7 Subway Extension and Second Avenue Subway, but the general story is one of increasing delays, cancellations and, malfunctions as a system that is very antiquated in parts struggles with ever more passenger numbers.

This is just not good enough, as this is NYC, one of the worlds great cities and people are clearly becoming ever more frustrated.

Other cities do have some similar problems but have at least been trying to address them with schemes such as the French Grand Paris Express or London's Crossrail and London Overground. As well as investment in Metro and Underground systems, if Trump really wants to help in terms of infrastructure then US public transport and Amtrak are a good place to start imho.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:29 AM
 
5,705 posts, read 9,074,370 times
Reputation: 4218
You just had one bad experience with a rude assistant, don't generalize. My guess is that that person probably just couldn't understand what you said, I'm French and I tend not to


Then if she was rude to the customers (and remember, it's her job to help them -and not to discriminate between locals and foreigners-) , and it seems it was the case , she should be FIRED, and tghat's all. Of course this is France and the Communist union CGT calls the shots at the RATP (the Parisian metro system), enough said...
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