Driver's Union Could Shut Down Muni This Summer

By Matt Baume
|  Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011  |  Updated 2:52 PM PDT
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Driver's Union Could Shut Down Muni This Summer

Getty Images

Muni may not be an option this summer. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Get ready for some shocking news. You might not be able to depend on Muni.

Operators are planning to take a strike-authorization vote. If they approve the measure, it would allow the union to call for a strike, leaving Muni daily riders without their regular ride.

It's a risky move. Left without a bus, passengers might discover that it's faster and more pleasant to take other forms of transportation. In addition, strikes are forbidden by the city charter, according to a Muni consultant.

But the union disagrees, saying that Muni management violates the charter all the time. Whether their stance can withstand legal scrutiny remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, one bus driver spent the day by crashing a Muni vehicle into a car, trapping the occupant.

Transit advocates, meanwhile, are exasperated by political posturing as both management and Muni approach contract negotiations. For the moment, the only disadvantaged party appears to be riders.

The Muni mayhem comes as a Chronicle report reveals the necessity for functioning public transit on Treasure Island. With development planned over the next decade, a complete long-term shutdown of Muni could put thousands of additional cars on the Bay Bridge every day.

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