I've been gone for three weeks, and oddly enough....came back yesterday....precisely on the day that the ESWE folks (our local organization that runs the buses, trolley cars, subway cars, etc).....decided to go on strike for a day.
Here in Germany....for the past fifty-odd years....there's been this major push in urban areas to get cars off the streets. Folks have built up a routine. You get up at a certain time.....the bus comes by at the right time.....you cross over to a S-Bahn train (your local subway or rapid-rail), and in less than an hour.....you arrive at your destination.
Here in the Frankfurt, Mainz, and Wiesbaden area.....I'd take a humble guess that 200,000 cars are parked and these people avoid the grid....by using public transportation. This helps the cities by avoiding parking costs and huge tie-ups with traffic in the early morning or late afternoon.
Well.....this all works fine....as long as ESWE runs. If on a strike...it's massive chaos. Even retirees get into this game.....by getting rid of their cars and just using public transportation alone.
I imagine that several thousand folks called into the office yesterday.....basically noting that they had no way to get to work. Thousands more got into a mess trying to find parking for cars that they normally never drive to work.
Success from the strike? Well....I'm not sure. It probably drove home a point....maybe negotiations turn fruitful and some agreement occurs....which leads to another strike in three years with the same results.
An American would look at the infrastructure in place for public transportation in Germany.....and be amazed at the degree of connectivity. On a day like yesterday.....the same American would be shocked just how handcuffed the public has become.....with this marvelous public transportation system. You kinda have to take the good with the bad....so to speak.