Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Mass Transit Difficulties

New York City is enduring an illegal strike by the transit authority employees. Frankly, I think it was a mistake to ever allow government employees to form unions.

I can't write with any authority about what is happening in the Big Apple, but things here in Columbus, Ohio are only slightly better. The employees of the local bus company, COTA, are threatening to go out on strike. For the last two days, it seems as if they have been giving the residents of Columbus a taste of what a strike will be like.

I got out to my usual bus stop at 7:15 am yesterday... it was a brisk 10 degrees F. outside. The buses usually run 6 to 8 minutes apart that time of the day. I waited until 7:35 am and two buses arrived at the same time. One was standing room only; the other one (I guess the later bus) was almost empty...the two buses played frog leap the entire way into downtown.

This morning, another super-cold one, I got to my bus stop at 7:05 am. No difference; the bus did not arrive until 7:35 am. This time it was only one bus; and it was standing room only. It got only worse as we headed into town...more and more people tried to crowd in. The problem with buses is that if one is late, more and more people line up at the bus stops. That means the bus keeps falling further and further behind because it takes time for all those people to get on board (and time for them to get off).

I think that illegal strikes should be punished to the full extent of the law. President Reagan fired the air traffic controllers when they went on strike. According to the news, the City of New York got a court order today imposing $1 million in fines per day for each day the transit workers are on strike. The workers also lose 2 days wages for each day they are on strike. I think the leaders of the union should be thrown in jail. Hit 'em hard with the law!


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