More crap from BART

Twice last week I boarded a BART train straight out of the service yard to find people who’d obviously spent the night on the train already there. This is a train that I’ve watched leave the service yard and pull into the first station on it’s run, so there’s no question about whether or not they entered at an earlier stop. These are people who spent at least some time in the service yard.

On the 22nd I twittered about it, including a tweet to @sfbart directly. The person behind @sfbart sent me a direct message that included a customer service link, and asked me to contact customer service directly because they track things like this. I did, that very day. It was short but very detailed about what I saw, including dates and times, as well as the train operators reactions (I ride in the same car as the train operator). Today, eight days later, I got a response saying that everyone with a ticket can ride the train. There was no mention of people riding trains in and out of the service yard, and it even went as far as suggesting that they boarded at the start of service despite the fact I was very clear that I board at the start of service.

Here’s the message that a Mr. Michael J Moran sent me:

Mr. Coburn, As long as anyone has a valid ticket they can ride the system and there isn’t any law against sleeping on a train. Chances are they boarded the train at the beginning of service, not slept there all night. Passengers can also take an excursion on BART for the fare of $5.20 and ride the system for up to three hours entering and exiting at the station.

Last year his base pay was $83,826 (he brought home $95,635 with overtime last year), and he didn’t even read what I wrote. That is wrong, and I’m horrified that it’s allowed to continue.

Oh, and there was a homeless person asleep on the train when I boarded this morning.

Union Yes, BART Employee’s Union No

This is a hard one for me because I grew up with a father who made living union wages. I think unions are good things, they help people. Or at least that’s what they’re supposed to do. But with strikes imminent, I’m having a hard time with the BART employee’s union. I’m paying almost as much to commute into the city on BART as it would cost in gas and bridge tolls, but I do so because it’s better for the environment and a little less stress for me. I put up with the fact that BART lets transients use their cars as overnight shelters, putting in little to no effort to clean up or even air out the trains in the morning, because it’s better for the environment. I know that if I ask a BART employee for help they are going to be rude and surly, and possibly rob me (true story). I just have to keep reminding myself it’s for the environment.

But wow, I’m not sure if someone sitting in an information booth should be making over $100k, or if train conductors should be paid more than tenured UCB professors to send text messages to their friends. And BART definitely should not be forced to over staff during the holidays or rent a large parking lot for six employees. And I really, really do not feel that my tax dollars should be subsidizing such egregious and outlandish avarice on the part of the BART employees union. Not all unions are bad, but this one certainly is.

Football is dead to me

So, it looks like the NFL is reinstating Micheal Vick. Wow, I didn’t think it would happen. He may have “paid” his debit to society, but not to me or the dogs he tortured and killed. I plan on boycotting all things football until that bastard is gone. Seriously. I will not watch a game, I will not buy merchandise, I will not speak of football, until that bastard is gone.

Football is dead to me.