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The bus has come to the end of the line

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I am forced to fall back on using my car. The bus mechanics are striking, so all the busses are stopped in solidarity.

Now, I think it is important to band together to be heard, but you have to pick your battles.

The public transportation system is something that many city dwellers rely on. There are some that use it exclusively.

the MTA website has this to say about the strike:

MTA Media Relations – Press Release

The biggest issue dividing MTA negotiators and union leaders is over contributions to health benefits. MTA deposits $16.8 million annually into a trust fund administered by the maintenance union which buys medical coverage for 2,000 employees plus retirees. An independent audit of the trust fund shows the union has wasted millions of dollars in recent years through duplicative coverage, poor record keeping and other problems.

Among other issues, the audit faulted the union for transferring $36,000 a month into union operating funds but union officials refused to provide documentation for how the money is spent. The audit also noted that the union has been paying a consultant up to $15,000 a month since 1998 to automate their record keeping but the task still has not been accomplished and the data is kept manually so the union has no real time information about how the trust fund is doing.

We already know that the last bus strike lasted for more than a month. It is a crisis, really.

LA has been coming to terms with it’s Metropolitaness, and creating public transportation systems that were approaching usefulness. A lot of my co-workers have been learning to rely on busses.

But this is not a step forward. In addition to the massive inconvenience, this same MTA article repeats a figure I have heard elsewhere.

The bus strike costs the local economy 4 MILLION bucks A DAY.

I don’t know that I’m terribly supportive of this strike.

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  • Eric Olsen

    You guys have strikes out the butt out there right now – makes it sound like the East Coast!