I really never thought they'd do it, but the TWU announced a transit strike around 3am this morning. At least it's not raining or snowing, but I feel badly for all the now-pedestrian commuters because it is COLD outside! Especially for those walking across the bridges...check out the photos on the BBC, where I got these pics. Those people on the right look like they are hugging each other through a tragedy (come on, it's not that bad), and I hope that guy on the tracks doesn't jump, but at least there's nothing to come along and squash him if he does.
Sitting on my butt in the warmth of my home office, the strike hasn't personally affected me yet, but Dave had to walk to work this morning and will walk home, too, unless something changes soon. I don't know if I fully support the striking transit workers, but I'm certainly not 100% against them. The MTA made a stupid move by announcing a huge budget surplus and giving refunds to riders just before the workers contracts were up. I can't see why they would do that -- have 2 fare raises, shout out about all this extra money, and then try to cut benefits to workers. It seems like the MTA is trying to alienate its riders and employees. However, I also know how much this is hurting the city and its residents, especially those less fortunate who can't afford to miss work and can't afford a $10 or more cab ride each way. I think binding mediation may have been a better solution than a strike, but both sides have to agree to that. And by the way, Bloomburg is PISSED!
On the people front, it seems like NY-ers are really pulling it together. The streets down here are not crowded at all, and cars seem to be full of riders instead of the usual 1 person per car that seems to be in the norm in NYC. I know a lot of people are car-pooling and picking up strangers. This is the third time since we've lived here that we've seen the subway system shut down, and I've always been impressed by how much people here help and reach out to each other in these times. I just wish it would happen more often when we aren't faced with hard times.