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Letter: BART – Fairness to taxpayers and riders?
July 05, 2013, 05:00 AM


We as taxpayers and riders have invested hundreds of billions of dollars to build the BART system. Our motivations were varied but likely included reduced use of our cars, internal combustion engines, reduction of petroleum consumption, improved air quality, relieve capacity constrictions on our freeways and the cost of traveling to our employment and entertainment.

Press reports have observed that those who drive the BART trains earn in excess of $100,000 per year, suggesting that we have invested in creating highly paid jobs. This for a effort less than those who drive empty buses, at least in San Mateo County they are often empty. I say less effort since a BART driver does not need to steer due to the rails, nor interface with riders as they do not need to collect fares and there is no other traffic in the rail system. This before considering the restricted janitorial jobs that require two job descriptions to clear debris from BART cars.

I support that reasonable employee grievances need to be fairly addressed. This can be addressed through mediation or other non-expropriation methods.

If we are to invest in such high-cost projects can we not insulate ourselves from a strike that holds our investment hostage to well-paid employees? If our public sector cannot find a way to preclude us from being held hostage to union strikes (think civil service and safety unions that are restricted from striking) I will find it increasingly difficult to support future public works projects.


Bill Schwarz

Foster City



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