Sunday, August 16, 2009

BART labor agreement reached but riders still lose long term

Although the strike is averted, this drawn out and very public dispute between BART management and employees have only divulged the ugliest, greediest and most dysfunctional side of the transit system that all of us depend on.

We ride BART mainly because we have to, to earn our livelihood. We pay nearly $10 a day to cross the Bay with arrival as our only expectation. We've come to not expect any comfort, timeliness, helpfulness or cleanliness. The bottom line is...riders will continue to lose. Fares will increase yet again and again to compensate for unjustified deficits.

While BART operations will carry on as usual tomorrow, I, and many others, now feel an increased bitterness that these BART employees who put minimal effort into their jobs, who will continue to deliver the minimal, will earn double the average Bay Area salary at our expense.

Thank you, BART, for opening our eyes and showing what type of organization this is.


Anonymous said...

The 900 members still have to vote to rectify the contract. Take down the names of those from the 900 who will vote 'nay' and fire them. That is a start. Next in line will be the shake up of the over paid management who also have been over spending.

Anonymous said...

Thanks anonymous, for another worthless comment. If you were in their position, and BART management was asking you for a 4 year paycut you'd be pissed too. I'm fed up by you and people like you seem to think that people who stand up for their rights should be fired. Personally, I think that the next time you b**** about how much you get paid, you should be fired. Period. Thrown out on our judgemental piece sh** a**. And if your not working, then guess f'ing bitter and prob don't deserve to work at Mickey D's. And guess what. That's pathetic.

Anonymous said...

To the 2nd Anonymous:
If I were in your position I would be very grateful that I have a well paid job and agree to hold the line on pay during this very difficult period of 10% unemployment and would not disrupt other people who rely on the trains to get them to work. But apparently you are a greedy sob without much common sense.
I agree whole heartedly that if you vote 'no' on this contract, if I can help it, I will fire your ass!

Anonymous said...

Sooo refusing to take a massive paycut is greedy? I'm confused. I mean, why don't we all just take 10 percent of all of our pay (and this includes you anonymous 3) and send it to the government. I mean, we all need to pitch in right? Or MAYBE, my brother-in-law could bid for your job. I think he'd do it for 3/4's of the money. Except oh wait, that would have you taking a 25% paycut just to match what he's willing to take. Are willing to put your money where your mouth is Anonymous 3?

Anonymous said...

i used to be very much in favor of public transportation but this has changed my mind.
public transportation is clearly unreliable and can not be counted on.

sad to see things come to this.
these bart workers have set back the cause of public transportation by at least a decade.
people who oppose the high speed rail to los angeles will use this as an example of why it is a bad idea.

James H. said...

Dear BartMusings,

You should do a post exposing the website.

In the last week they have been repeatedly deleting posts & blocking accounts of many users who speaks out against the ATU.

I think the site may be bought & paid for by some of the BART Unions.

-----James H.

Anonymous said...

B. Daniels,
Very well said!
These greedy bastards will never learn until they are standing in the umemployment lines!

bartmusings said...

Serious about BARTrage deleting anti-ATU comments?? That's not right! Has anyone else seen that?? That was the go-to forum for BART riders who needed to vent about anything and everything!!

bartmusings said...

To anon #4-- A lot of employees need to take cuts and freezes in order to keep the organization going especially in this economy...what makes BART employees any different????

Anonymous said...

indeed bartrage moderators remove posts they don't like. it is generally a very rude site, and the moderators are very anti BART management.

Anonymous said... moderators definitely side with pro-union posters when there are arguments.

Seen it many times. Eventually stopped posting on that site because of it.

This union bickering has just made it more obvious than usual.

west coast story said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dndgirl said...

This is my philosophy on strikes. If you don't like your job conditions, quit. That's what I have done. I wouldn't dream of screwing up someone else's day just because I am unhappy. That is my big problem with unions. Unions were created at a time where working conditions were terrible and minimum wage and other protections didn't exist. This is largely no longer the case. The people who work for BART are well paid, possibly overpaid. They do not require a union for protection. They are skilled workers and can fend for themselves. I am fortunate to have the job I have. I take BART to get to it. How can it be okay to keep me from my job just because some people are unhappy with theirs? I'm rambling now, but I hope you all understand the point I'm trying to make.

Anonymous said...

BART Rage is not a friendly place to post and I've had posts deleted also. There is not necessarily a union bias there but it is clear that union employees make that site their voice.

ATU was not asked to take a pay cut. That is a big fat lie. And I find it funny that no one has bothered to post that management and professional staff will also receive some of the same changes in benefits.

When the governor was trying to balance the budget, he took all transportation funding from one source that most transit operators use for operating. This created a major hole in transit operating budgets all over California. Transit operators all over the country are in very serious financial trouble--NYMT, LAMTA, CTA. You'd think as much as time as Station Agents spend reading the paper they'd know some of this.

I belong to a union and support unions but ATU has always been dominated by a bunch of malcontented imbeciles. I look forward for a tell-all from Matier & Ross about how many feet were planted up ATU's ass to settle this labor dispute. In fact, it would have been very interesting to see what would have happened to ATU if they'd gone on strike. In fact, it's possible these morons will still vote down the contract so stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

"We ride BART mainly because we have to, to earn our livelihood. We pay nearly $10 a day to cross the Bay with arrival as our only expectation. We've come to not expect any comfort, timeliness, helpfulness or cleanliness. The bottom line is...riders will continue to lose. Fares will increase yet again and again to compensate for unjustified deficits."

It's disappointing to read this paragraph because there is so much that might have been said to better display a sense of context:

1. BART riders in many cases live in low-density bedroom suburbs that are difficult to serve by rail transit, yet still want a quick commute into one of the Bay Area's two cities (SF + Oakland), and one that is subsidized by the public at large to a much greater extent than now. However, they haven't been sentenced to live in these places--Pleasanton, for example, isn't a prison. Their residents have made an informed choice--including, apparently, to complain about their subsidized rail fare? Well--people in Antioch complain about traffic jams, too. But if they didn't want to sit in traffic jams, why did they move there? They made an informed choice that it was worth it.

2. Few, if any, large public transit systems in the western world make as much of their revenue at the farebox as BART. Even so, $10/day round trip is a very low fare--about 13 cents/mile--given the mileage from, for example, Pleasanton-downtown SF. Equivalent systems in, for example, Western Europe are substantially more expensive.

3. Californians as a whole have chosen not to pay taxes at a level sufficient to support high-level public transit--or, for that matter, to pursue land use planning supportive of public transit. In the Bay Area, bedroom suburbs tend to have less support than closer-in suburbs and cities for such levies.

4. Anyone who has taken transit like the New York subways or local trains in, say, Milan, knows station and car cleanliness can get much, much worse. If we want to pay for it, we can get pretty much whatever we want--the mere existence of public goods like BART and East Bay Parks are testimony to that. At the moment, we as a whole don't pay for the top level of clean.

5. Riders aren't continuing to lose. They're able to access fast regional rail transportation that has, statistically, an excellent on-time record, at a low cost. Personally, I think we should shift some of our massive auto system subsidy to public transit and let car drivers bear more of that cost, but c'est la vie.