BART's shutdown from computer glitch the latest woe for transit agency

In recent months, the BART system has seen two strikes shut down service and had two workers killed on tracks.

Now BART is facing its latest set of problems: a computer glitch that shut down transit service during the Friday morning commute and more trouble reaching a new contract deal with workers.

“BART has been so inconsistent this year, (it's been) a bad year for them,” commuter Jill Ann Cosentino, 35, of Oakland said Friday as she headed to her event planning job in San Francisco.

The nation's fifth-largest commuter rail system, with an average weekday ridership of 400,000, BART service has been shut down twice when more than 2,300 members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and Service Employees International Union Local 1021 walked off their jobs for several days amid contract talks.

The two strikes in July and October snarled commutes in the region, as people turned to crowded buses, ferries and roadways as alternatives.

During the second strike, two BART workers were killed by a train operated by an employee undergoing training. The parties soon returned to the bargaining table and reached a tentative deal on Oct. 21.

That deal hit a snag on Thursday when BART's board approved the agreement without a key Family Medical Leave Act provision that would provide six weeks of paid leave to care for sick family members. The transit agency said the provision could cost $44 million over four years if one-third of union workers take six-week leaves each year.

“Simply put, (BART) cannot afford to give its employees another six weeks of paid leave, on top of the generous leave already allowed in the BART employee benefit package,” BART President Tom Radulovich said.

Union representatives called the board's vote an unfair labor practice and said it would be discussed with attorneys and members to determine its next steps.

“That is not the contract we voted on. That is not the contract that we took to our members,” ATU Local 1555 president Antonette Bryant said. “Our members didn't have the luxury to pick and choose what they wanted to vote on.”

Last week, BART officials announced that the family leave provision had been inadvertently included in the proposed contract due to an error by a temporary employee.

BARTBay Area NewsTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Passengers ride the 14-Mission Muni bus on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit officials fear Free Muni pilot could hurt already-strained service levels

Supporters say fare cuts could increase ridership, help low-income residents

The vacant property at 730 Stanyan St. in the Haight currently houses a safe sleeping site for the homeless. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Affordable housing project on former McDonald’s site delayed as city adds units

The start of construction on an affordable housing project on the site… Continue reading

Visitors read a notice hanging on the Polk Street entrance to City Hall on Thursday, March 26, 2020, shortly after the building was closed. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Hall reopening to the public on June 7 after long closure due to COVID-19

San Francisco will reopen City Hall to the public on June 7… Continue reading

Historic streetcars are undergoing testing on The Embarcadero to prepare for their return to service on May 15.<ins></ins>
What to expect for Muni Metro’s relaunch on May 15

Significant service restoration includes downtown subway tunnels and historic streetcars

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and running back Raheem Mostert (31) celebrate after Mostert scores his fourth rushing touchdown in the third quarter as the 49ers take on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
49ers on prime-time TV five times in 2021

Usually a team that finishes in last place and won only six… Continue reading

Most Read