Tech buses reroute to West Oakland BART in response to May Day protests

OAKLAND (BCN) — Buses taking tech workers from the MacArthur Bart Station in Oakland to the Silicon Valley were rerouted this morning to avoid a May Day protest that pledged to block the buses.

After catching wind of the protest, the company that runs the buses, Loop Transportation, changed their pick-up to the West Oakland BART station, according to Rome Aloise, international vice president of the Teamsters Union.

The rally began at 7:30 a.m. and still went on even though there were no buses to block. BART spokesman Jim Allison said the protest was “entirely peaceful” with no arrests or service disruptions to BART.

According to an announcement for the protest, organizers attempted to “block the tech commute” in response to “an unprecedented wave of
gentrification creeping in from every direction.”

“Let them know that they are not welcome,” organizers wrote in their announcement, “that their high-priced world is not welcome, and their terrible world of surveillance and alienation must end.”

By about 9 a.m., crowds at the MacArthur Station began to disperse, Allison said.

In an open letter distributed online earlier this week, Teamsters-organized shuttle bus drivers asked protest organizers to redirect their efforts to put pressure on tech companies and not employees.

“Your efforts are hurting us, not helping. We are on the front lines of fighting income inequality in the high tech industry by organizing with the Teamsters union,” the drivers wrote. “We call on you to join our efforts to hold high tech accountable to workers. If you want to make the
economy work for struggling Bay Area families, then help the other drivers organize a union with us. Help push for affordable housing. But please don’t stop our buses.”

Officials from Loop Transportation were not immediately available for comment.

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