Update on Government Salaries

Over 700 employees of San Francisco's BART transit agency make over $100,000 just in cash wages.  This does not include lucrative benefits that probably add $30,000 or more to total compensation for most employees.  (SF Chron, via Thin Green Line)


  1. txjim:

    Here in Texas, there are fresh rumblings about replicating the mass transit boondoggles made in CA and elsewhere. Those stimmy bucks need to be spent somewhere baby! Thanks Coyote for the wealth of material you have provided me to use as I prep for fighting this nonsense in my backyard.

  2. Bill:

    While I agree that there is no evidence that this type of boondoggle makes any economic sense whatsoever, it is important to note that BART is, even by California standards, an extreme example of mismanagement, on many levels.

  3. Craig:

    Similar salary shenanigans are occurring in Washington DC, which makes Metro's cries after the recent crash about a lack of funding for new train cars sound ridiculous.

  4. napablogger:

    The benefits are way more than 30%, more like 55%. This is going on throughout the state of California, many govt workers are retiring with pensions that are more than they made on the job, at younger and younger ages. This is a major reason Ca is having budget problems.

  5. Not Sure:

    Steven Greenhut (OC Register) writes regular rants-no... opinion columns, I meant to say- about public employee pensions. You can find some of them here:


  6. colson:

    Holy Christ. I'm quitting my job and going to work at BART as a police officer. Two officers clocked in more pay in regular and OT than the police chief did.

  7. Bob Smith:

    Here in Texas, there are fresh rumblings about replicating the mass transit boondoggles made in CA and elsewhere.

    A bunch of posters on the Houston City Data forum think expanding the Metro light rail line is a wonderful idea. My attempts to dissuade them have so far proved ineffectual.

  8. morganovich:

    oh hell, here in the people's republic of SF our muni bus drivers clear 6 figures cash (especially once you factor in overtime).

    they have a health plan so comprehensive that it covers sex changes (no, that's not a joke).

    pensions are extraordinary and based upon peak earnings.

    bafflingly, somehow, MUNI never seems to be able to break even.

    but hey, at least the service sucks.

  9. Mark:

    Union workers manipulate the overtime and work rules to drive their seemingly insignificant base salaries skywards. When you have municipal employees making this kind of salary based on overtime then the real question becomes: Why doesnt the management ADD more staff.

    If you want stories of real shennagins check our the Long Island Railroad.....

  10. Mark:

    Link to story about LIRR


    THe story states that 93-97% of the retirees of the LIRR receive disability payments in addition to their retirement benefits and that the tax payers have paid our $250,000,000 in disability to these recipients.


  11. stan:

    Who had the story the other day that the average federal employee makes twice what the average American worker makes?

    What percentage of Democratic voters do not fall in one of the following categories -- union worker, government worker, university employee, recipient of govt check?

  12. smurfy:

    I used to drive a bus for an agency in the Bay Area and one of the things that frustrated me was that it is a straight seniority profession, you move up as other people quit or retire. Trouble is that the benefits are generous and the work is relatively low stress so nobody quits. Way to reward ambition. I was only able to get part time work so I supplemented my income by driving for another bus line operated by Laidlaw. The difference in pay and benefits between the public agency and the private company was astounding. I still wonder how laidlaw is able to attract drivers at just a little more than minimum wage, but the fact that they can makes MUNI and BART salaries seem especially ridiculous.

    But hey, it's only a quarter of a cent sales tax for the rest of your life.

  13. Larry Lane:

    napablogger - Your point about Pensions will probably be the boulder that breaks the engine's block! Here in Texas, many in education are now startng to retire. I have a friend who was earning about $130,000 per year as a public relations person for a local high school. He just retired at the age of 56 with a salary in excess of $100,000. The same thing is going on in Houston. And of course, every time one of these young retirees leave, they hire a replacement, so think about that multiplied through out the US.

  14. Danny:

    BART fares have increased faster than inflation, ridership has increased, and the BART deficit has been rising even faster than BART fares.

    I hate California.