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What should the possibilities of BART striking teach us in the Bay Area?

Original post made by Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Oct 15, 2013

Not only are passengers being held hostage by BART, the possible double whammy of a bus strike makes East Bay commuters and the public at large mindful of why good public transit affects everyone including those who do not use it for their commute.

Here on the Peninsula only those who need to get to San Francisco or the East Bay may feel the affects personally, but the repercussions could start to be felt if a possible strike continues longer than a day or two. As the freeways and roadways get gridlocked by more cars on the road we will see deliveries being delayed as well as appointments being canceled due to doctors not being able to get to work on time and teachers not being in our kids' classrooms.

We do not need to wait until a hypothetical Caltrain strike coupled with a VTA strike to realize that havoc would ensue on the Peninsula/South Bay would have similar catastrophic concerns to our everyday lives.

The real problem is that Bay Area transportation is crucial and unless funding and functioning improves we are not going to survive with what we have at present.

We desperately need a Transportation oversight that coordinates all forms of public transit, Caltrain, BART, MUNI, VTA, Ferries rather than the agency by agency system piecemeal situation we have. We also need to secure funding that can be allocated to the system as a whole rather than different agencies. A gas tax is one method which could be considered. Cutting down on separate administration at the various agencies would be another saving.

We need to be ready for the future. We need to learn from this possible strike. We must get Bay Area Mass Transportation up and running and make it work. The consequences if we don't aren't worth thinking about.

Comments (6)

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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm

>We need to learn from this possible strike

Yep. Scott Walker, in Wisconsin, stood up against the public unions, as did FDR. Public sector unions should be banned, period.

What are we waiting for?

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Posted by G
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm

We learned that BART management brought in a "negotiator" who is renowned for forcing an actual walkout. his history is something like 24 out of 25 resulted in strikes.

That said, don't buy what @kevin is peddling about FDR.

FDR: "The desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in private industry. Organization on their part to present their views on such matters is both natural and logical, but meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government."

FDR "It is now beyond partisan controversy that it is a fundamental individual right of a worker to associate himself with other workers and to bargain collectively with his employer." October 2, 1935.

FDR "Cooperation with labor as well as with business is essential to the continuation of the programs we are working out for a more stable and more satisfactory industrial life in this country. I have on a number of occasions urged the necessity, as well as the soundness, of furthering the principle of collective bargaining as between labor and management." February 11, 1935.

Ronnie Reagan: "They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." Labor Day, 1980

And don't forget that Ronnie gave public workers rights - in 1968, Reagan signed the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act, establishing collective bargaining for California's municipal and county employees.

America and Americans are best served by a strong middle class. Protecting American working families is the right thing to do.

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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm

[Post removed.]

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Posted by fault
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm

[Post removed.]

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Now it looks like the strike will happen. It is going to affect us all. It is definitely time to get some sensible funding for transportation in the Bay Area. It is definitely time to have one overseeing authority. It is definitely time to get sensible about public transportation.

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Yes, Caltrans seems to have an unlimited budget for multi-billion dollar highway projects. Why can't a small percentage of that money be dedicated to mass transit?

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