BART Strike: Estimated That Action Is Costing Bay Area $73 Million/Day In Lost Labor

A Bay Area economic institute estimates that the BART strike is costing the region $73 million a day in lost labor productivity.

The figure is a conservative estimate, according to the business advocacy group the Bay Area Council, mostly based on estimates of lost hours and productivity from longer commute times due to traffic delays or taking alternate public transit.

“The Bay Area Council and our 250 members companies implore the BART unions to end this damaging strike and return to the bargaining table, and we urge both sides to reach a fair and reasonable agreement,” Bay Area Council president and CEO Jim Wunderman said in a statement today.

According to the council, the economic impact of the strike could in fact be much larger if considering the costs of workers not spending money by staying home or otherwise altering their routine, increased fuel prices because of clogged freeways, and that workers telecommuting may not maintain the same level of productivity.

No further bargaining sessions have occurred since representatives from Service Employees International Union Local 1221 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 left the bargaining table on Sunday, and none are currently scheduled.

BART spokesman Rick Rice said Tuesday that management has conveyed to mediators the hope that talks can be scheduled “very soon” and that BART is “prepared to negotiate the significantly improved proposal we delivered on Saturday.”

Employees announced their intention to strike midnight Sunday, just after their contract expired.

The key issues in the talks, which began on April 1 but broke off Sunday night, are pensions, health benefits, salaries and safety.

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