BART strike impacting college area businesses
- October 21, 2013
By Paul Chambers
KTVU News Reporter
Not only was the BART strike causing problems for commuters Monday, it's also hurting college students and workers at local businesses.
Highwire Coffee in Oakland's Rockridge neighborhood, right across the street from the Rockridge BART, took a big hit in business Monday morning.
“We didn't see the 7:30 rush at all. I'm guessing that's people usually going into San Francisco. So we didn't have that at all,” said Kendall Howse, a barista.
Since the BART trains stopped running, most of the foot traffic has almost come to a complete halt along College Avenue, where many stores have taken a hit.
The owner of Rockridge Market Hall Foods told KTVU that its business was down close to 8 percent on Friday. A temporary setback the owner says it can sustain, but the longer the strike, the more it hurts the workers.
"We're already alerting people that we may not need them to work this evening. So hopefully it won't go on too much longer,” said Sara Wilson, owner of Rockridge Market Hall.
Talk of schedule cutbacks were also a possibility at Highwire Monday.
“Right now we are kind of just keeping things in place. If it seems like It’s going to be prolonged, we would need to do that. We would have to lighten staffing,” said Howse.
As some workers have taken a hit in business during the strike, others were seeing a temporary increase in workload.
Cal State East Bay in Hayward hired three shuttle buses Monday; a cost it was splitting with San Francisco State University. The free shuttles run all day between the two campuses for faculty, staff and students.
“So far the service appears to be working,” said Barry Zepel, spokesperson for Cal State East Bay. “Fifty students I understand were waiting in line at 6:30 when the bus pulled up.”
For those wanting to use the shuttles: the first bus leaves Hayward at 6:30 a.m., and 7:45 a.m. from San Francisco. Last bus leaves the city at 7 p.m. and Cal State at 8:30 p.m.