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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Newsom Reacts To News of BART Strike Within Hours -- Beating Response to Big Muni Crash By 12 Days

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 6:21 PM

click to enlarge wheresgavin.jpg
Mayor Gavin Newsom took a lot of flak for his non-response to the Muni crash on July 18 that sent nearly 50 unfortunate riders to the hospital. Although Newsom has quite a lot of influence in the running of Muni in his role as mayor and appoints the members of the Muni board, he didn't say anything to the press about the crash until July 30. (According to the dailies, he told reporters who asked about his 12 days of silence after the crash, "This is so irrelevant. This is rather ridiculous.")

But who says people can't change? After the ATU Local No. 1555 held a late afternoon press conference Thursday announcing that the BART union workers would stage a strike starting Sunday night, Newsom posted his statement of disapproval on his Web site within hours. And Newsom has no oversight of BART.

"Today, I am calling on BART and the Amalgamated Transit Union to go

back to the negotiating table to work out a deal and prevent a strike,"

read the mayor's statement. "Halting service to BART's 340,000 daily

riders will hamstring Bay Area

commuters, clog our freeways, and affect businesses across the region

as workers and consumers are left stranded. All jurisdictions are

feeling the pain of the tough economic climate and a BART strike that

strands riders will only make it harder for everyone who lives and

works in the Bay Area and relies on public transportation."

As

far as anyone can tell, the effects of the strike on the mayor's hybrid

SUV-ride to City Hall will be minimal. Unless a pair of streetcar operators, overwhelmed by the influx of surly BART-riders, lose control and create a Newsom SUV sandwich. Surely the mayor would have something to say about that

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Lauren Smiley

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