Bay Area commuters face delays as transit workers call in sick

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 02, 2014 4:48 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Bay Area commuters were left stranded or facing long delays on Monday when many San Francisco transit workers called in sick just days after a vote on a new contract, bringing the city's cable cars to a halt.

The apparent job action also left only about a third of buses running during the morning commute.

"ATTN: ALL routes and lines are experiencing major delays. Please consider alternative forms of transportation," the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said in a tweet.

Commuters stood in long lines at bus stops, in some cases pushing and shoving to get onto overcrowded buses.

"I had to wait 45 minutes to catch the 28 bus," commuter Reese Souza said. "Two buses passed by, totally full, so I had to walk to work. It took me an hour and a half to get to work, which normally takes 30 minutes."

Officials with the transportation agency and local Transport Workers Union Local 250 could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Paul Rose, a spokesman for the agency, told the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper that 400 out of 600 Muni vehicles were out of service. It was not immediately clear how many workers had called in sick.

The apparent sick-in comes after a vote on Friday by transit workers over a new contract proposal, according to the newspaper. The result of that vote has not yet been announced.

(Reporting by Laura Rena Murray and Christina Farr; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Eric Walsh)