Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Now that the contract negotiations have been extended for 9 more days, the potential strike day is now July 13. Most of the passengers I've spoken with feel indifferent at this stage. Everyone is ready to either bear with the traffic or telecommute. Some have even scheduled their vacation in mid/late July.

Since these negotiations began, I have to say that I've become spiteful and bitter towards BART. It's not a comfortable ride but yet we pay a good amount each day. It's not exactly the most reliable ride either but we deal with it because it is the lesser of two evils. Most of the employees we encounter are rude and indifferent (but there are some that actually make an effort to help passengers...I want to be fair and point that out). And for clean freaks like me, it is 30 minutes each way of enduring smells, stains, germs, dander from all over. Suddenly, driving isn't that terrible of an option anymore, especially during summer when traffic is light. I actually drove to work a couple times recently and arrived in SF within 20 minutes, in the comfort of my own car, with coffee and a breakfast bar, and the liberty to listen to news radio continuously and talking on the phone.

I'm tired of all this. Shouldn't BART employees feel grateful that they have a decent job in this economy? And shouldn't BART management have better sense than to vote in favor of raises for themselves and to have the foresight years ago to better managed the budget so it wouldn't reach this desperate stage?

I'm sick of this. Maybe it's time for me to load some new tunes on my iPod and get ready to drive.


Anonymous said...

from what i've seen bart employees think they are better than everyone else, even if they only have a high school education. they think that they DESERVE everything they get.

Daily BART Rider said...

I totally agree. A strike, really? Give me a break, I have no sympathy at all for the workers, they're lucky to have a job at all. I'm now paying more than 10 bucks a day to have someone's armpit shoved in my face for a 1/2 hour ride... BART should cut salaries and benefits (starting with Management) and reduce fares....

BARTSurfer said...

I would be curious to know what portion of BART's operating costs are attributable to salaries of its employees. I'll bet it's not as high as you would think.

Anonymous said...

Generally, Bart is pretty good, and the employees are not great, but not bad either. Generally, I get to work on time.

The thing that bothers me is that they get paid for their lunch time, and don't have to put anything away for retirement.

Who approves this stuff?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is time for some new tunes, as change is always a good thing.

It is quite unfortunate that front line employees give off a impression that rubs some patrons negatively. From a patron standpoint (which I have been) I completely understand that. That first impression usually sets the tone for everything to follow. There are some lazy employees who seem to bring the many down to their level unfortunately.

Last thing I want to do is strike. That is not really in my plans for the upcoming week. Hopefully both sides bargain in good faith and come to an agreement. I dislike how the union side has handled negotiations and management with the voice of Linton Johnson has not been much better.

Anonymous said...

BART employees have a ridiculously generous contract: good salaries plus pension and health benefits that add 60% to their basic income. Where else in the world could a high-school grad expect to retire at age 55 with a pension worth more than half of his or her highest salary year? These people make far more than I, and I'm in mid-career with an advanced degree.

Anonymous said...

On the one hand, we're paying BART employees good money in a very high cost of living area. Maybe more than they deserve, but nothing unbelievable.

On the other hand, there were and still are Enron energy traders, SoCal mortgage scammers, and Goldman Sachs executives taking California and the taxpayer for unimaginable billions in wealth we'll never see again.

Pardon me for not getting exercised about BART employee salaries. Although I will be annoyed if it comes to a strike.