Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 5, 2013

Strike while the ire is hot

Filed under: Alameda, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:05 am

I was totally glad that yesterday was a holiday, not so much for the holiday itself,  but rather because I didn’t have to figure out how to get to San Francisco while BART was not working.   While it hasn’t been THAT bad getting out of Alameda.  The Tubes have been surprisingly light even though the ferries and the buses have been slammed, it’s always just a nail biter until you actually get to work to learn whether or not you’ll be there within a reasonable time or if you’ll be stuck in traffic.

It was particularly disheartening to read news stories late yesterday saying things like “we’re not close” when it comes to finalizing negotiations.   So what I had hoped would happen on Sunday night, happened last night, BART workers have come to an agreement-ish, but it won’t help this morning’s commute.

But the only bright side is that the ferries, at least the Alameda/Oakland ferry saw a huge increase in the number of riders. But there were also posts on Twitter about hugely long waits and lines because of the number of people opting to take the ferry. According to the East Bay Business Times, all of the additional boats and buses do not necessarily equal positive revenue for those agencies:

“It is straining the capacity of many of the other operators,” said John Goodwin, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a regional planning and funding agency.

There are added costs to provide that additional service. More buses and ferries means more drivers and other support staff working longer hours.

It is not yet clear, the transit agencies said, how much the additional service will cost them. But the extra money they get from added riders does not outpace the extra costs.

“There’s no way the additional fares alone can make up for it,” Clarence Johnson, a spokesman for AC Transit, said about his agency.

I have to say I have a lot of respect for AC Transit who faced similar contract issues decided to not strike even though their contract had expired.   I know that their negotiations are not necessarily going well, but hopefully AC Transit’s union will hold off on striking until the BART issue is resolved.   Right now I think there is a lot of good will toward AC Transit because of their decision not to strike.

And it’s a little scary because, since the contract extension is only for a month, we could be facing the same situation in August.


  1. From sfgate:

    See how these poor folks (“bartbratz”) are living the high life. Lamborghinis, Rolex watches …

    Comment by alameda — July 5, 2013 @ 6:35 am

  2. Re: 1, the links work … but looks like you will have to copy and paste.

    Comment by alameda — July 5, 2013 @ 6:38 am

  3. 1. regardless of whether some BART engineer is making $150,000 there is something creepy about this site. I had heard in the news a train operator gets $67,000 but that may be starting. A while back I was Googling public sector salaries and I recall being shocked by salaries of BART police, particularly in light of the problems they’ve had.

    Comment by MI — July 6, 2013 @ 9:33 am

  4. As Grandma would say “if you don’t want folks talking about your Lamborghini, then don’t post it on FB” 🙂

    Comment by Granda — July 7, 2013 @ 9:57 am

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