Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy birthday, America


Green light to gouge commuters

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that private parking lot/garages downtown are taking advantage of commuters during the BART strike:

From his sidewalk flower shop at Mission and Spear streets, Gary Thorn sees the bustling South of Market neighborhood every day. "They're jacking (prices)," he said of nearby parking lots. "They are sticking it to people. But people are coming in four to car." At a garage near Mission and Main streets the rate was $40 to park all day, with the $40 portion of sign at the edge of the sidewalk taped over a $25 sign that was still underneath it. "It's not good," said a man who walked out of the garage into the J.P. Morgan Chase building nearby. An attendant at the garage declined to discuss its fees and referred questions to a company office where a phone message was not returned. Despite the price, the garage was filled before 10 a.m., with the attendant placing orange cones to block the entrance ramp which was filled with cars.

Maybe City Hall will step in and put a stop to this gouging? Not likely, since the city itself routinely preys on unwary out-of-towners who drive into SF in their "death monsters," aka motor vehicles.

Labels: , ,

Oh, those poor BART workers?

Hard to see striking BART workers as particularly oppressed if, as reported on KQED's blog, news fix: "The data shows employees from the two striking unions make around $78,000 to $81,000, including overtime."

And this from this morning's Chronicle:

BART workers have demanded a 4.5 percent annual pay hike and an annual 2.2 percent cost of living adjustment---a raise of more than 20 percent over three years. "I think it hasn't sunk in with them that the Bay Area has suffered considerably over this period of time," [General Manager Grace]Crunican said. While most workers pay an average of 30 to 40 percent for their medical benefits, she said, BART workers pay an average of 5 percent, Crunican said. "We're trying to get them to pay for their benefits---and at the same time, they're asking for a raise," she said...

Okay, that's the sort of thing that management always says during a strike.

But a closer look at the numbers---also linked by KQED---on this page in the Contra Costa Times isn't likely to make even pro-labor Bay Area commuters particularly sympathetic.
Out of the mud grows the lotus. The Bicycle Coalition thinks this is a good time to experience "the world and joys of bike commuting":
While the entire Bay Area awaits word on the BART Strike, we are doing our part to help keep San Franciscans rolling by encouraging people to try biking to work. If your coworker, friend or family feels inconvenienced by this strike, now is the perfect time to encourage them to consider biking. If possible, offer to ride to work with them to help ease them into the world and joys of bike commuting. Do you need to cross the bay with your bike? Check out our Bike the Strike page to find alternatives for combining bikes and other transit options. Happy pedaling!