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A Few Brief Suggestions If BART Goes On Strike

Oh here we go again. Another BART contract negotiation, and another threat of a strike. This time, however the threat seems a bit more real, and could start as early as Monday. Needless to say, with ridership at 400,000+ riders a day, this is going to be a cluster-frak, right as we start a week of high heat and the Fourth of July.

I'm not going to go into the reasons the unions want to have a strike (or a "contract" as they say in the news), because, frankly I don't care. It's over health care (as always with strikes nowadays) and it's lovely they pay $92 a month for their f*cking health care. I work for myself so finding an affordable health care plan, even now, is minuscule to none. Anyway, like I said, I don't care anymore, since if we had national health care, BART, and every other business and public agency would save money by not being in the health care benefits business anymore. But why do something sensible like that?

Anyway, what's more important is how to deal with the circumstances. Other agencies will be seeing more riders as people stitch together a new way to work, and there will be more people in cars driving. The former means that agencies like Muni will have more people on board, something we know it can't handle since lately it's been falling apart at the flimsiest of circumstances, and the latter means a lot of people are going to get in their cars, think they're the only one doing so, and spend a lot of time in traffic. Burn up those dino fuels and pay for all that parking!

Here's a few tips that would work. First, if you can carpool to work or school with other people in your neighborhood, do so. It's a pain in the ass, but trust me, you'll all be saving each other's sanity, and some money as well. This doesn't work for everyone, but if you can do so, try it.

Next, just assume that your commute within San Francisco is going to be f*cked up, no matter what. There will be noobs on the bus who don't understand how the bus exit doors work, there will be more people on board, it'll smell bad because of the weather, etc. I'd advise bosses and workers to work out a plan in advance to accommodate this added layer of crap to the commute so no one gets fired for being late. If there's a way to adjust people's time in and out I'd say do so if at all possible.

Finally, if you have the luxury (or the curse) of working at home, try and do that for a few days. The strike, if there is one, is likely to end fairly quickly, so if your work allows you to work at a home office, do so. This is how I will be avoiding the nonsense myself, although I'm fortunate that I can do that - not all jobs handle telecommuting well. Use your judgment.

There's not much else, we, the riders can do in a situation like this. Ultimately it's up to the geniuses at BART and the geniuses at the unions to solve this mess. I'd like to think that at some point, cool heads will prevail, and a resolution that's fair to everyone (riders, management, unions) can come together and avoid a strike. We are, after all, the home to the braniacs of the world, aren't we?


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