Tag Archives: San Francisco

The BART Parasites Strike

14 Aug

An estimated 340,000 daily BART riders will have to look for a different mode of transportattion starting on Monday, which is when the BART union is expected to strike. The union is in the middle of negotiations with the BART Board of Directors, who are imposing a one-year contract on workers represented Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555.

Carla Marinucci at the SF Chronicle blog notices a surprising reaction in traditionally labor and union frendly San Francisco. BART employees are hoping to gain public support, but there appears to be little sympathy for their union in a time where one in ten Californians is out of a job.

And this city should be angry. This absurdly selfish strike will cause huge and unnecessary disruptions for thousands of Bay Area employees, who now have to find an alternate way in and out of the city. If you’ve ever crawled inch-by-inch across the Bay Bridge at rush hour, you will know how frustrating the traffic can be. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to look like without the BART trains zipping across the bay.

Some may bawlk at calling this strike “selfish,” but let me throw out a few statistics that might change your mind. The average BART employee makes about $120,000 a year, which apparently is not enough for these underworked and overpayed brats. Since it is also run by a parastic union, there is an incredible amount of sheer and utter waste:

Last year, BART installed new seats in 205 train cars as part of a major upgrade of the interior amenities of our system. While we hope the changes are a comfort to our riders, they may be surprised to know that it takes two employees at BART to change out a seat cushion and backing under current contract rules.

The contract allows a utility worker to unfasten the snaps that hold a seat cushion in place. But the two screws fastening a seat back can only be touched by a journeyman mechanic. BART changed some 26,000 seat cushions last year.

Only something run by the government could this be inefficient and incompetent.

There are rumors around the web that there will be a public protest of this strike at noon on Monday, August 17th at noon in front of the BART headquarters (20th and Harrison St.) for anyone interested in voicing their opposition to this madness.

Luckily for me, I don’t take the BART train to work, so this strike won’t directly affect my daily commute. But for the thousands who do, here is a great list of other transit options from the SF Chronicle:

Transit options

Here is what Bay Area transit agencies plan to do in the event of a BART strike. For details, contact the individual transit provider or, for up-to-date regional information, go to www.511.org, or call 511.

Alameda/Oakland Ferry, Alameda Harbor Bay Ferry

Plan: Double the number of daily runs between the Harbor Bay Terminal and San Francisco, and between the west Alameda and Oakland docks and San Francisco.

Contact: www.eastbayferry.com, (510) 522-3300

AC Transit

Plan: Provide extra service between the East Bay and San Francisco based on need and availability of buses and drivers. Run larger buses on transbay routes. Stops at BART stations may be relocated.

Contact: www.actransit.org; (510) 817-1717 or 511

Caltrain

Plan: No added service

Contact: www.caltrain.com; (800) 660-4287

County Connection

Plan: No specific plans to add service but will pitch in if buses and drivers are available.

Contact: www.cccta.org; (925) 676-7500

Golden Gate Transit and Ferries

Plan: Buses that serve El Cerrito Del Norte and Richmond BART stations will have stops relocated nearby. An additional ferry will operate during the morning. Other ferries will operate on regular schedules with room to accommodate additional passengers.

Contact: www.goldengate.org; 511

SamTrans

Plan: Stops at the Daly City and Colma stations will be relocated nearby. A free shuttle will take passengers to Market Street in San Francisco, where they can connect to Muni.

Contact: www.samtrans.com; (800) 660-4287

Muni

Plan: Increase bus and streetcar service on the 14-Mission, 49-Van Ness, J-Church and N-Judah lines; expand the East Bay casual carpool area on Beale Street to include 12 additional East Bay BART stations.

Contact: www.sfmta.com; 311 in San Francisco or 511 from outside the city

Vallejo Transit and Baylink Ferry

Plan: Add a fourth boat, providing three extra departures in the morning and evening. Add express bus service between the Vallejo Ferry Terminal and San Francisco Ferry Building if needed.

Contact: For ferries: www.baylinkferry.com; (877) 643-3779. For buses: www.vallejotransit.com; (707) 648-4666.

Newsom won’t be Governor

8 Aug

Just as quickly as it started, it appears that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Governor run is coming to a close. According to Carla Marinucci at the SF Chronicle blog, Newsom isn’t even coming close to raising the amount of money that former Governor Jerry Brown has, even through Brown hasn’t officially declared himself to be a candidate (yet):

Brown supporters have been promoting the line that Newsom may have set his ambitions too high in taking on Brown, who has logged four decades in state politics. Newsom insiders, though, counter that this all started when Brown himself showed up to a 75th birthday party for the Mayor’s dad — and reportedly told the elder Newsom that Gavin should be running for Lt. Gov instead.

Ouch. Newsom’s senior political consultant Garry South is dismissing the rumors as “political disinformation,” but many in Newsom’s staff have already left and that essential election medium, campaign cash, is running dry.

If Newsom really is doomed, then it is definitely a positive sign that this slick San Francisco statist won’t be the top decision-maker in Sacramento, and Jerry Brown is definitely the lesser of these two Democratic evils. Brown has already served two-terms as Governor, which might be what California needs after an incompetent Gray Davis and an airhead actor.

California is in the midst of some compelling political drama. The Governor’s seat is up for grabs, same-sex marriage proponents look to continue their good fight, and demographic shifts may shape the next election:

The profile of California’s registered voters has dramatically changed over the past three decades, according to a Field Poll report being released today – and analysts say some of those “polarizing” shifts could reshape the 2010 governor’s race as well as make it harder for the state to make changes to address its financial crises.

The shifts – particularly the rising number of nonpartisan voters – will force both Northern California progressives to run more toward the political center in the primary, analysts said.

While California’s continuing financial crisis has some calling for changes to Proposition 13, the 1978 voter-approved measure which limits property tax increases, the comparatively large number of voters over 60 (28 percent) and homeowners (74 percent) make that unlikely.

This Field Report echos the sentiment of the fed-up voters in last May’s special election, who are socially liberal, but who are also opening their eyes to the tax parasites and union leeches running the state into the ground.

The next year and a half will be very interesting.