|After the tragic death of two track workers because of BART senior officials? callous disregard for safety in the rush to get service running during the strike, a deal was reached to end the 4-day strike. The two were struck by a train that was being operated by an inexperienced manager who was training others.
?Before going on strike, ATU Local?1555?had compromised and extended negotiations for the good of the riding public in hopes of reaching a fair settlement.?But when BART management pulled out of a deal at the last minute, citing issues that had never been negotiated, the local had no choice.
ATU President Hanley said the agency is responsible for the two deaths and called for a criminal investigation into the deaths. “You don’t train in a situation where you can kill people. It’s like walking into a kindergarten class and handing out loaded pistols.”?Read more.
Media failure in BART strike news coverage
During the four months leading up to the strike it would have seemed logical for the mainstream Bay Area news outlets to cover the underlying issues of the labor dispute. BART?s revenues and expenditures should have been put under a microscope by the press.
Instead they fixated on the inconvenience to riders, commuter outrage, and bashing the unions. It was a missed opportunity for serious reporting on how BART?s hundreds of powerful construction and engineering contractors have ingratiated themselves with the BART board of directors and senior management to make millions in profits.?Read more.
Access to public transit influences health care choices
You might not realize for many people transportation plays a big role in accessing health care and even could be the deciding factor on whether they visit their doctors or pick up their prescriptions.
The demographic relying most on public transit is people who do not have health insurance or are underinsured.?Many may not have paid time off from their employer, making the process of getting to a doctor much more challenging. Or even worse those who are not employed may not own a car and may have limited options for public transit to see a doctor or go to a pharmacy, making it less convenient and more time-consuming.
There are transit agencies getting involved in this issue including Capital Metro in Austin.?Read more.
Opinion: Privatizing BC Transit not right route
Privatizing BC Transit?s bus system could result in higher fares, less service and reduced ridership as evidenced in Nassau county writes Nadine Lemmon of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign in an opinion piece in the Press & Sun Bulletin.
After almost 40 years of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority running the Nassau Inter-County Express system (NICE), the county proposed to cut costs by outsourcing to a private company. The result only four months after was higher fares and reduced service.
It is no surprise then that NICE riders have become increasingly dissatisfied with their service. A NICE survey from this past summer found that rider satisfaction has dropped 32 points ? 61 percent to 29 percent ? from June 2012 to June 2013.
That is why ?Broome County Executive Debbie Preston?s proposal to privatize B.C. Transit should move slower than a car stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic,” writes Lemmon.?Read more.
Regina MP: Time to deal with assaults on transit workers
With another recent attack on a bus driver in Regina, Liberal Member of Parliament Ralph Goodale of Wascana is calling on the House of Commons to support his Bill C-533 to upgrade the Criminal Code when dealing with bus driver safety.
Almost 2,000 attacks happen to transit operators in communities large and small across Canada every year.?Goodale says the issue is non-partisan, has broad support in Parliament and hopes to get the bill passed before the holidays.?Read more.
Detroit drivers protest dangerous working conditions
Assaults on bus drivers have not only been a problem in Canada. A recent rash of vicious attacks on Detroit bus drivers led to a sick out day by members of ATU Local?26?to protest poor safety protections for drivers.
Four drivers have been hospitalized in the past week. Two were stabbed, one came under attack from three passengers and one had urine thrown on her.
“The deterioration of the bus system is not the drivers’ fault,” said Local 26 President Fred Westbrook. “We are going beyond the duty required of us. I want to let (passengers) know it’s not our fault.”?Read more.