Short, sharp, chaud: French bus drivers get right to look cool

State-owned transit operator finally bows to pressure
||Last Updated: 07/05/2018
Bus Driver
Paris bus driver Abdelkader Arioua poses in a bus wearing a bermuda on July 4, the new RATP uniform allowed during heat waves in the French capital. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

PARIS (Reuters) — As northern Europe swelters, Parisian bus drivers have won a years-long battle: the right to wear shorts during a heat wave.

French public officials generally wear formal uniforms, and employers show little flexibility.

But, bowing to longstanding staff requests, state-owned transport operator RATP will allow its 15,000 drivers to wear bermuda shorts or skirts from June to September when temperatures rise above 28 Celsius.

"It has been a recurring conversation every year and this year, surprise, we got them," said bus driver Abdelkader Arioua.

Men — who make up 90 per cent of the drivers — will receive trousers that can be turned into shorts with a zipper, while women will receive skirts. 

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