2005_12_transitworker.jpgWhile the Transit Workers Union and MTA still hash out contract negotiation, the City Comptroller revealed the city could lose $1.6 billion in the first week of a strike, due to lost revenue from holiday shopping and events - not to mention the regular work. The MTA offered a 27 month contract: A 3% raise for the first 15 months, then 2% for the next 12. But the TWU is still holding out for 8% for each of three years, so the MTA is looking to see if the courts can uphold the Taylor Law, which would requires transit workers to keep working.

The TWU says there is still a 50-50 chance of a strike, but there's "still time" to work things out. (The best TV news editing of a strike story was on WNBC, where they showed Mayor Bloomberg saying he wanted transit workers to take a compromised deal, cutting to TWU's Roger Touissant saying, "That's why the Mayor is not involved and shouldn't be!" ) The Mayor continues to implore people to stay with friends and relatives who are closer to work, as the city revealed more strike contingency plans. For instance, no cars with less than four people would be allowed to enter the city below 96th Street between 5AM and 11AM and schools would open two hours later. But there's no telling how businesses will keep going if their workers aren't there.

The NY Times profiles a subway conductor today, and the money issues are elucidated with his actual income and expenses. And a NYC Transit survey says that subway service is getting slower - and that the 1 train has the most delays! No kidding - we saw four express 2/3 trains pass before a 1 train wandered into a midtown station at 7:30PM last night. But most of the delays were caused by more track fires, water delays, and suspicious packages.