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France’s public transportation network came to a halt Thursday as public sector workers staged a series of strikes in what is seen as the first big test for President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government.

Subways, buses and trains were all out of service.

Subways, buses, and regional trains were all out of service, leading to traffic jams as commuters used their cars to get to work. Airlines were operating as usual, but some flights were delayed because employees were having trouble getting to work.

Many Parisians took advantage of the capital’s free bicycle program. Others hopped on scooters or strapped on Rollerblades, and some workers simply took the day off altogether.

The walkout began Wednesday night and was expected to last 24 hours, but the backlog of services could mean the effects of the strike last much longer.