Friday, October 18, 2013

BART Workers Strike, Threatening San Francisco Commute

Article #1
Goode, Erica. (18 October 2013)  BART Workers Strike, Threatening San Francisco Commute. New York Times.

1. Category of problem: Employment; Transportation

2. Level of problem: Local (San Francisco)

3. The article concerns: The strike of the Bay Area Transportation System (BART) in San Francisco has caused trouble for many people. The BART transports over 400,000 people on a daily basis.

4. Why is this important to families/individuals OR how does it affect individuals/families?
a. Many individuals are affected by the BART employees going on strike. People rely on public transportation in a city like this in order to commute to work. If employees are not able to get to work, then the are not able to get a paycheck. Families will be affected as well. Parents and working children will also have issues commuting to work if they rely on the BART.

5. What are your views on the issue/policy?
 a.  I think that this is a huge deal for the city of San Francisco. Not only is the city huge, but it is also extremely hilly and difficult to commute across town. The article stated that the BART has over 400,000 passenger's daily. Without this option to commute through town, some may not be able to make important engagements. For example, one may have an important doctor's appointment all the way across town and have no other option to get there. Maybe the grocery store is 5 miles from a persons house and they have no car and will have no extra cash after groceries. Others may have a certain disability or injury that could prevent them from traveling such a distance without commuting on the BART. There are many different ways that this is an inconvenience to San Francisco citizens. Overall, I think that the main issue is the amount of employees that will be unable to make their scheduled shift. For some people, a taxi cab may not be an option, and the bus route may take several hours to travel to work. Some employees may simply be unable to make it to work. This means that their paycheck will be small and possibly nonexistent depending on how long the strike lasts. This will not only effect the individual and their family, but in the long run it will effect the economy as well. Work will not be getting done on time in the office buildings, and places such as restaurants will be understaffed. The closing down of the BART, even for a few days could be crucial to the lives of many people. The union and the employees of the BART need to sit down and come to a conclusion that can be agreed upon. Standards need to be met from both parties, and compromises should be drawn. Something needs to be done so that the BART can contribute to the public transportation of this huge city.

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