BART officials just announced that negotiations will resume tonight at 6pm. BART spokesperson Rick Rice said, "After one full day of no meetings, we are eager to get back to the table.”
Tuesday’s commute seems to be shaping up to be worse than yesterday's. Freeways backed up sooner, ferry lines were longer, and the free shuttles that BART provided from five East Bay stations filled up quicker.
Meanwhile, BART and its unions have yet to sit down to talks since Sunday, although both sides did speak with a state mediator last night.
Bay Area Rapid Transit workers are now on strike after failing to reach a deal on contract negotiations.
The 400,000 commuters who rely on the San Francisco-area rail system are now having to find a different way to get to work. Reports from Oakland say the casual carpool lines are extra busy. Over at the El Cerrito de Norte BART station, a line of free shuttles offering round trips to Oakland and San Francisco is easing the crowds. The ferries are running extra boats, and the lines, while long, are not as bad as some commuters expected.
BART contracts for its union workers – who make up almost 90 percent of BART’s over 3,000 employees – are set to expire on June 30th. That’s sent BART and union leaders to the negotiating table. Both sides are hoping to avoid the bitter and contentious fight that happened during the last contract negotiations in the summer of 2009.