BART riders with disabilities rally against strike

Groups of BART riders with special needs rallied in San Francisco, pleading with BART management and the unions to not strike.
October 16, 2013 11:45:19 AM PDT
Groups of BART riders with special needs are speaking out about how a strike would disrupt their lives. They rallied at the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco Wednesday morning.

The disabled community is pleading with BART management and the unions to not strike. The group is made up of people who are visually impaired and in wheelchairs.

They tell me they rely on BART to get to school, to work, to get to appointments, even to get their young children around daycare.

"I have literally built my life around this system," said Jessie Lorenz with the Independent Living Resource Center. "Because of this system I am able to a fully contributing tax paying citizen. And not everywhere in the country is that something that can be a reality for people who have disabilities like mine."

"I'm a student at the Academy of Art," student advocate Gigi Giscome said. "I take the BART all the way from Berkeley to San Francisco, so I need it to be independent and to be on my own."

Rally organizers tell me they do support BART workers as well, they acknowledge the cutbacks that the workers are dealing with. They say they see the cutbacks as well in the staff and in the things they use the most. For example the elevators, they say they can tell they're not being maintained as well.

But for people with disabilities, driving is not an option. And they tell me if they take buses their ride could be more than two times longer than what it is with BART.

Stay with ABC7NEWS.COM for updates on the looming BART strike and information on how to get around if the trains stop running. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ and download our news app for the latest news whenever and wherever you want.


Load Comments