Next came word that Amtrak was going to go on strike. Then word came out that Amtrak was going to try to avoid striking. Now it appears that there is an ominous possibility that Amtrak will go on strike.
Ai Caramba! Train Rider will not be happy if Amtrak goes on strike.
So here is the run down on the strike rumors:
The CBS-affiliate out of Providence, RI posted an Associated Press story to their website yesterday afternoon. The AP article noted that 17,000 riders rely on commuter rail service between Providence and Boston.
Also, "the MBTA says any contingency plan could only accommodate 25% of the 47,000 passengers a day who use South Station." I don't know why North Station passengers weren't factored into this equation. Maybe the North Station-bound trains don't ride on Amtrak rails? Maybe the towns that rely on service to North Station are too far for a Rhode Island TV station to care.
Boston Magazine's "Boston Daily" published a tongue-in-check article about the pending strike that basically contained most of the information from the AP story.
Even the Harvard Crimson got in on the action (that the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, and Worcester Telegram & Gazette, not to mention the Boston TV stations all seem to be ignoring). The Crimson's "Updating Amtrak" article noted that in the past 36 years, Amtrak has never gone on strike. This well reported article provides some details as to why Amtrak workers are thinking about waging a strike.
Finally, The Boston Herald outlined some of the cities that will be impacted by the strike. This strike will not be pretty - here is a run down on the cities that will be impacted:
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority/Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail - TrainRider would be among the 47,000 daily passengers affected.
- New Jersey Transit - 218,000 daily trips.
- Long Island Rail Road - 85,000 passengers out of 100,000 customers. Basically anyone who needs to go into Penn Station.
- Metro-North (New York City Area and Connecticut) - not affected.
- Shore Line East (Connecticut) - 2,000 passengers who travel between New Haven and New London. This line actually has a contingency plan!
- Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority - 5 out of the 13 SEPTA lines run on Amtrak tracks and a 6th line runs on both Amtrak and SEPTA tracks.
- MARC (Maryland) - 19,000 riders who rely on the Penn line between Baltimore and Washington, DC. Two other lines will be able to run, but would need to terminate before reaching Union Station in DC.
- Virginia Railway Express - this line would be completely shut down because it is operated by Amtrak employees. 15,000 riders would be impacted.
- METRA (Chicago) - 80,000 riders because Union Station would be closed.
- Caltrain (California) - Service between San Francisco and San Jose would be shut down, impacting 36,000 riders.