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The 2013 BART Strike Awards
Scott Lucas and Caleb Pershan | Photo: Wikimedia Commons | July 6, 2013
A tribute to the week's best non-movers and -shakers.
The Great BART Strike of 2013 is over (for at least the next 30 days). So that means it's time to pick the winners and losers. We'll let you decide whether the employees ought to get a raise. We're concerned with weightier issues...
The Sean Parker Award for Clueless Cloud Commuting
The unnamed Google worker waiting for his private shuttle to whisk him across the Bay, while around the corner at the West Oakland BART station, the masses stood in line for AC Transit. He told the Contra Costa Times that he had “no idea” that a strike was happening.
The George Bush Hates Black People Award For Most Awkward Injection of Race
The union-produced YouTube video entitled "They Treat Us Like Slaves." Look, you can't say that the people who pay you wages are treating you like slaves. Because, you know, wages.
The Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. Award for Most Pro-Willie Brown Statement by Willie Brown
None other than former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who rewrote the book on self-aggrandizement by trumpeting his role in settling the 1997 BART strike. He told the Chronicle that, “I'd like nothing better than to see the possibility of resolving [the current strike]," adding, thoughtfully, "and I'd be happy to do that on a confidential, no-fee basis.”
The Warren Hinckle Award for Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Opportunistic ridesharing company Avego, which instead of the expected cars, offered East Bay commuters the chance to go to work via helicopter.
The Larry J. Ellison Award for Most Plutocratic Transportation Alternative
Wayne Phillips, who grew so tired of waiting for the commuter ferry in Oakland, he hopped aboard his own 30-foot boat to get to his (what else?) tech job in the Financial District.
The Jimmy Hoffa Award for Least Diplomatic Union Statement
Pete Castellli, SEIU Local 1021 Executive Director, who released a statement today saying that “BART management has raised hypocrisy to a whole new level. Management has spent taxpayer money on themselves like they were Wall Street bankers!”
The "Twirling Towards Freedom" Award for Blandest Remark By A Public Official
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who issued the following snoozer at the opening of the strike: “I join Governor Brown in urging BART union and management leaders to return to the bargaining table and continue to negotiate in good faith to avoid a BART strike [zzzzzzzzzzzz....]. We will continue to partner with regional transit agencies [zzzzzz....], local businesses and other [zzzz....] key stakeholders to coordinate [zzz....] an effective contingency plan to keep [zz...] our City and the entire Bay Area [z...] moving.”
The Three Mile Island Award for Least Environmentally Sensitive Government Agency
BART itself, which inexplicably kept the lights powered on—even the ones on the track that tell you when a train is coming—throughout the entire strike.
The Rick Perry Award for Most Clueless Political Analysis
Pando Daily's Sarah Lacy. We love her tech industry reporting, but in the course of one forehead-smackingly obtuse article, she claimed that the BART strike was caused by Happy Meal progressives, implied that somehow Mayor Ed Lee had the legal authority to halt the walkout, and pondered why techprenuers weren't working on "disrupting" BART. "Put simply," she wrote, "you can’t expect people to live like New Yorkers in a city that refuses to allow itself to evolve into a West Coast New York." Y'all got that?
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