Bay Area Briefs

Friday September 20, 2002

Congress considers security bill 

SAN FRANCISCO — Congress may approve a bill that will give major airports six more months to meet security requirements demanded in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. 

Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., chair of the Transportation Committee, filed the bill late Tuesday to allow up to 40 airports to extend the Dec. 31 deadline. 

San Francisco and Oakland are among the major airports that would benefit. 

James Loy, head of the Transportation Security Administration, told Hollings’ committee last week that engineering problems will cause as many as 35 of the nation’s 429 commercial airports, including some major hubs, to miss the deadline. 

Los Angeles International is the only major California airport that says it can meet the December deadline. 

MTC unveils new express buses 

SAN RAMON – Bay Area transit agencies will soon receive new state-of-the-art express buses, one of which was unveiled at a Metropolitan Transportation Commission ceremony in San Ramon Wednesday. 

The MTC launched a Regional Express Bus program, through which the agency has purchased nearly100 of the buses with funds from the governor's Traffic Congestion Relief Program. 

Metropolitan Transportation Commission officials say the new express buses are cost-effective, comply with California Air Resources Board requirements, and offer better-than-usual amenities such as bigger, reclining seats, more legroom, overhead reading lights and luggage racks. 

“Express buses are a convenient and cost-effective way to combat Bay Area traffic congestion because they don't require the capital investment of building new rail lines, yet they fill the gaps left by our regional rail system,'' said the commission's Randy Rentscler. 

“Everyone – from businesses to environmentalists – has long acknowledged the need for serious expansion of our express fleet, and we're glad the governor's Traffic Congestion Relief Program was able to fill part of that need,'' he said. 

Polo employees sue  

clothing retailer 

SAN FRANCISCO — Miffed at having to buy Polo’s high-priced clothing, employees at the retailer’s stores are suing Polo in a class-action suit against the company’s uniform policy. 

The complaint was filed Wednesday by Toni Young on behalf of other unnamed plaintiffs and claimed Ralph Lauren’s Polo stores require sales representatives to purchase and wear the latest clothing line from the retailer. 

“Defendants require all retail sales associates in their employment to purchase Polo Ralph Lauren clothing and accessories as a condition of their employment,” said the court documents. 

It was unclear from the complaint how much the sales representatives earned, though the court document said “sales associates, including the plaintiff, are paid low wages.” 

A typical man’s Ralph Lauren Polo shirt costs in excess of $50. Women’s apparel exceeds $90 for blouses.