BART stoppage set SFMTA back $700K

Chip Chipman/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesA Muni bus picks up passengers in San Francisco.

The BART strike last month burdened the pocketbooks of many Bay Area commuters, but the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency seemed to bear the brunt with an estimated $700,000 in losses, according to a transit official.

Though slightly shorter, the strike from Oct. 18-21 was significantly more costly for the SFMTA than the $450,000 lost during the July strike, SFMTA Transportation Director Ed Reiskin said Tuesday. Muni ridership jumped more than 20 percent during the most recent stoppage.

The October BART strike lasted four days, but “the impact on us was actually greater than that,” he said. “It was waiting until 10, 11, 12, 1 in the morning not knowing, about a week of that kind of effort for us.”

Muni extended service to pick up commuters from the Mission corridor, San Mateo and South San Francisco.

The strike response included an additional 54 police officers and 134 parking control officers, he said.

“I think we really stood up and made it as painless as possible, although there was pain during the strike,” he said.

The SFMTA is seeking reimbursement. Muni operators and officials themselves faced transportation challenges but stepped up and assisted travelers where needed, Reiskin said. “They were here and serving our public,” he said. “A lot of folks worked long shifts and hours. Hopefully we won’t be doing that again.”

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