Ahead of parking enforcement crackdown, SFMTA workers rally over unsafe working conditions

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Thursday, April 25, 2024
SFMTA workers rally over unsafe working conditions
SFMTA workers say they are rallying against an impending parking enforcement operation, citing safety concerns for officers writing citations.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- SFMTA workers were protesting in San Francisco Thursday.

Dozens came out to rally against what they say are unsafe working conditions.

"We're asking for time to heal after you see a traumatic accident. We're asking for ample staff coverage at our underground stations. We're just asking for health and safety -- for protection," said Principal Citations and Permit Clerk Nicole Christian.

Last week, SFMTA announced a parking enforcement crackdown around the city. It is a push these workers say they first learned about on the news and not from their bosses.

RELATED: SF gears up to give out more parking citations. SFMTA calls it 'intense operations'

"It makes me feel unvalued. It makes me feel like the people making these calls have no idea what we are doing on a daily basis," said Parking Control Officer Trevor Adams.

Several rallying on Thursday told us they're worried that the upcoming crackdown will make their jobs more unsafe.

That includes Tina, who told us she's already been attacked while issuing citations.

"They caught me off guard, and they came back, and they began to throw items on me," Tina said.

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Tina says that the incident has left a permanent impact on her.

Now, she wants SFMTA to do more to ensure something similar can't happen again.

"Maybe travel in pairs, instead of being by ourselves, like officers do. Maybe have a group of us," she said.

SFMTA says the safety of its employees remains the agency's top priority.

MORE: SFMTA to add 35 more transit fare inspectors amid financial crisis

In response to the protest and demands of the workers, it sent us a statement, which reads in part:

"Safety is our top priority at the Agency. Thanks to our efforts, crime is down 48 % since 2018 within our system...Our Parking Control Officers are provided de-escalation training, self-defense tools and have access to our internal dispatch center that communicates directly with SFPD for any assistance they need."

That brings little comfort to many out rallying, who say they're just trying to do their jobs.

"We want to keep the public safe. But when we have interactions that are negative, we're less likely to want to be helpful because we're afraid for our own safety," Christian said.

MORE: SF transportation agency wants to expand 'No Turn On Red' restrictions in city

SFMTA announced the crackdown last week as part of an effort to improve safety for people walking.

It would include more tickets for people parked on sidewalks, bike lanes or too close to crosswalks.

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