eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
I leapt out of bed this morning to check the news, and saw... yes, two of the most-feared words of the city dweller:

Transit. Strike.

Yep, that's right. Philadelphia, a city already hemorrhaging money, gets to have its second transit strike since 1998. And the last one lasted forty days, so we don't anticipate swift resolution. No buses, no subway, no trolleys. The train is still running (different union), but crowded and behind-schedule and it only serves a minuscule number of commuters.

And, of course, the talk about it is all a mess. There's a lot of union-bashing, a lot of derogatory personal comments, and a lot of accusations. Completely understandable, since 1/3 of Philadelphia households have no cars. But it's still worrying to hear people say "What're the SEPTA drivers complaining about? 5% of their health care? That's nothing! I pay for health care so they should have to, too! Welcome to the 21st century, punks!" I mean, should this really be a thing we accept? Should we hate people who don't pay into their own premiums?

And, of course, the management claims the workers are making ridiculous claims, and the workers claim the management is overpaid, and both of those things are probably technically true, given that SEPTA's been running a deficit for seven years. But it seems to me that there's a bigger problem -- SEPTA's a public service. Second most expensive public transit fares in the nation and still running a deficit and dirty stations and trains that run once an hour? There's a problem there above and beyond the union (which, fyi, is either 13th or the 17th in terms of pay, so again, second most expensive fares and where is that money going?). I mean. It's a mess in so many ways that blaming the union by itself hardly seems fair. Sure, they're picketing in part to protect people from being fired for talking on their cell phones while driving (arrrgh!), but let's blame the state legislature (no dedicated funding!) and the organizers (routes that make no sense!) and the city (where to start?) as well.

All this speculating is largely to distract me from the unlovely fact that I have no driver's license and suddenly can't get to my suburban classes and can't take the trolley back from Trader's Joes and get to walk an extra mile or so to shop at Whole Foods and can't get to the co-op at all. Whee?

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eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
eruthros

May 2017

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