Day two of the BART strike once again left commuters scrambling, the highways hopelessly jammed and countless people late for work. Go to 511.org for real-time updates and suggested ways around the hold-up, which has doubled or tripled commute times for a lot of people who work in and around San Francisco.
Employees of the regional transit agency—the fifth most-used rail line in the nation—are on strike because contracts with the agency’s two biggest unions expired and discussions over a renewal fell apart. BART workers want higher wages—23 percent raises over the next four years. They’re also protesting a proposal to get them to pay more into their healthcare benefits and are demanding the agency pay for more safety measures—like bullet-proof glass and better lighting in the tunnels. The Mercury News editorial board penned a scathing rebuke of the strike, calling the BART workers’ demands “completely divorced from reality.”
The public transit agency has refused to concede, so union workers announced their plans to strike and instead of showing up to work Monday and Tuesday. They picketed train stations. Mother Jones says it’s the agency’s first strike since a six-day demonstration 16 years ago. BART has 660 cars that connect four Bay Area counties to San Francisco and the Peninsula. The average weekday ridership totals 366,565, according to the transit agency.
South Bay commuters paralyzed by the BART strike have a few options to get back from work today, which can be double-checked at 511.org.
SamTrans runs a free shuttle from Mission Street at the border of Daly City and San Francisco to the Colma and Daly City BART stations. Then there are the Capitol Corridor trains, which drive from north Santa Clara to the Emeryville Amtrak.
The San Jose Mercury editorial page calls the strike “unnecessary,” and calling the BART workers’ demands “completely divorced from reality.” It is the fact that despite universal condemnation from opinion makers, millions of Bay Area public transportation commuters are in solidarity with the strikers.
> It is the fact that . . . millions of Bay Area public transportation commuters are in solidarity with the strikers.
I didn’t know this.
Is there somewhere I can look up this fact?
I really don’t have the time to talk to millions of commuters to check this out.
Well, look on the bright side.
When the BART union’s brother unionists go on strike against the $54 billion (plus or minus) High Speed Rail system, it won’t be nearly as disruptive.
First of all, the “High Speed Rail” won’t really be “high speed”, so striking against a slow and inefficient train won’t be as disruptive as striking against a fast and efficient train.
And secondly, no one will be riding the High Speed Rail anyway, so if the unionists go on strike and shut it down, very few people will even notice.
In a related story, a group of BART employees, after having attended a lavish dinner to which they’d been invited by their working class neighbors, complained that the filet mignon was overcooked and that they didn’t like the Alaskan King Crab- “They should have served us Dungeness”, they griped. Moreover, they shrieked, they’d been insulted by being served a Chateau Lafitte Rothschild cabernet of 1962 vintage rather than the preferred 1947. They left their neighbor’s modest, middle class home hurling insults, referring to their hosts as “ungrateful skinflints”.
The moral of the story:
I don’t commute on BART. But if I did I’d gladly walk 20 miles to work every day in the 105 degree heat rather than cave into the outrageous demands of this greedy, ungrateful bunch of extortionists.