Millions of commuters in Paris and other parts of France are getting free public transport this weekend as part of plans to reduce what the European Environment Agency says is the worst air pollution since 2007. (March 14)
AP TELEVISION - AP CLIENTS ONLY
Paris, France - 14 March 2014
1. Wide of Paris skyline with Eiffel Tower seen through smog
2. Mid of Paris, skyscrapers seen through smog
3. Mid of bottom of Eiffel Tower
4. Wide pan right of Paris with famous buildings and monuments seen through smog
5. Mid of Paris, Sacre-Coeur Basilica (in Montmartre) seen through smog
6. Mid of metro station
7. Wide of buses in street
8. Mid of people getting off bus
9. Message from Paris City hall on electronic board in street reading (French): "It is recommended for children and sensitive people to avoid doing sports and follow their medical treatment" and "Car drivers: drive smoothly and reduce your speed"
10. Wide of traffic in street
11. Ground shot of cars driving past
12. Wide of Seine river with Eiffel Tower in the background
Millions of commuters in Paris and other parts of France are getting free public transport this weekend as part of plans to reduce what the European Environment Agency says is the worst air pollution since 2007.
The belt of pollution stretched from France's Atlantic coast hundreds of miles into Belgium and well into Germany.
All public transportation in the Paris region and the cities Caen and Rouen will be free for the next three days, starting on Friday.
Bike-shares are also free, as are one-hour sessions for electric car shares.
Nearly three-quarters of France is under alert, according to the European Environment Agency and meteorologists say unusually warm days, followed by cool nights have worsened the situation.
To add to the mix, France has an unusually high number of diesel vehicles, whose nitrogen oxide fumes mix with ammonia from springtime fertilisers and form particulate ammonium nitrate.
Pollutants from the burning of dead leaves and wood contribute as well.
But some Parisians say the one off weekend of free transport isn't really going to change things.
"It's true that I'm not really interested in the situation, but I think the proposal is a bit useless," said Jocelyne, a resident of Paris.
On huge flashing billboards across Paris, the government was dispensing medical advise to pedestrians and warning motorists to reduce their speed because the smog may reduce visibility.