BART strike is costing Muni $100,000 per day for added service, official says 

click to enlarge BART strike is costing S.F.'s Muni $100,000 per day
  • AP Photo/Eric Risberg
  • While the BART transit system on strike, a parking and traffic officer directs motorists on First Street tries to get to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, in San Francisco. San Francisco Bay Area rapid transit workers are on strike for the second time since July, scrambling the morning commute for hundreds of thousands of workers who were up before dawn to clog highways, swarm buses and shiver on ferry decks as they found alternative ways to the office. About 400,000 riders take BART every weekday on the nation's fifth-largest commuter rail system.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who cut short a trip to Asia because of the BART strike, met Monday afternoon with San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency director of transportation Ed Reiskin to discuss the strike's impact

on the city's streets and transit system.

Reiskin said the SFMTA has added 16 buses and two light-rail vehicles to supplement Muni service along the heavily traveled Mission District corridor; at connectors to Caltrain stops; and on the J-Church and N-Judah lines.

Those lines saw an extra 11,500 riders this morning -- a 22 percent increase compared to an average weekday, Muni spokesman Paul Rose

said.

Reiskin said the extra service, which requires bringing in workers for overtime, is costing the city at least $100,000 per day.

"It's not sustainable," he said.

The extra cars on the road as a result of the strike have also slowed down Muni service, especially during the afternoon commute as East Bay-bound drivers fill the streets leading to the Bay Bridge.

Reiskin said traffic control officers were at many downtown intersections Monday afternoon to keep the lines of cars moving.

Lee had come home early from the overseas trip to Asia and called for a resolution to the BART labor dispute that has wreaked havoc in the Bay Area.

Lee, who was part of a San Francisco delegation visiting China and South Korea for a trade mission, said he returned home after hearing about the two workers killed on the BART tracks near the Walnut Creek station on Saturday.

"Everyone on the trip was very concerned, so I immediately decided

to cut the trip short and come back here," he said.

Lee had initially postponed the start of his trip when BART's unions threatened to strike last week, but ended up leaving for Shanghai just before the work stoppage began on Friday.

The mayor urged BART management and its unions to come to an agreement. The two sides reached a stalemate last Thursday over sticking points related to work rules, but the unions submitted a contract proposal to management Sunday that union leaders said offers some flexibility on those

rules.

"They've got to settle today," he said Monday. "They have a close enough proximity, those issues can be settled."

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