Bay Area Traffic Piles Up as a Result of BART Workers Strike
Many Bay Area commuters are forced to find alternate means of transportation as BART shuts down as a result of its workers strike. BART management and BART unions had a breakdown of communication, and as such, the train is no longer running, and its 400,000 riders have taken to the streets, buses, and ferries. County and city officials are doing their best to add more options such as adding more buses to the streets and more ferries to take people across the bay, but as one might expect, it’s not enough to accommodate this huge demand. The Bay Bridge, for example, has been called “worse than a parking lot” by frustrated commuters.
The same frustrated commuters have also stated that the BART management and unions owe it to the public to settle their differences soon. Governor Jerry Brown declined to elaborate on the situation other than a brief statement by his spokesman.
On Tuesday, the strike continued, with much of the same results despite attempts to introduce more ferries and buses into the fray. There is a small glimmer of hope, however, as BART management stated they would be meeting at a neutral location with mediators and union representatives in order to create a deal that is manageable for both parties. Governor Jerry Brown sent in two officials to help spur on negotiation and compromise.
BART management has offered 8 percent pay raise over four years, while asking workers for more pay towards pension and benefits. But for unions, this is not enough. They are looking for a 13.5 percent increase over 3 years, and will pay half a percent towards their retirement.
Negotiations are still in progress. Talks are set to resume today (Wednesday) at 1 p.m.
Read more about the strike here.