BART unions and management eager to resume talks
Top state leaders, including Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, are calling on BART and the unions to resume negotiations.
Each union is meeting on its own today to "plan their next move." Both sides said they are eager for talks resume.
"We are hopeful that they are going to come back to the table and bring some real substantive information so that we can bargain," said Antonette Bryant, ATU Local 1555.
"There is a state mediator who is trying to bridge the gap and he is the one who is responsible for making sure both parties get back to the bargaining table," said BART Spokesman Jim Allison.
No further bargaining sessions have occurred since representatives from Service Employees International Union Local 1221 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 left the table on Sunday.
BART's unions are asking for a 4.5 percent raise every year for three years, along with stricter safety standards for workers and passengers. BART says it's offering workers a 2 percent pay raise every year over the next four years, along with a reduction in the expected increase in health care costs. The unions say BART's latest proposed increase is based on unrealistic projections and actually amounts to $1 a year.
Commuters hit the roads earlier today
Thousands of commuters hit the roads a little earlier today hoping to beat the traffic. But that just caused the backup at the Bay Bridge toll plaza to start sooner. The cash lanes started to back-up into the MacArthur Maze at 4:30 a.m. By 11 a.m., there was still major congestion in the Maze. Extra toll takers are on duty to help with congestion. Caltrans crews are working non-stop towing cars which have overheated or run out of gas during the epic backups.
Willie Brown offers to mediate strike negotiations
Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown says if asked, he is willing to help mediate BART negotiations.
Brown was instrumental in helping bring an end to the last BART strike in 1997. He says this time he is willing to act as a mediator between the two sides free of charge. He also suggested San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan get involved in an effort to resolve the strike quickly.
Ferries take on extra passengers
The ferry system really came through for commuters stranded by the strike. San Francisco Bay Ferry says its 11 ferries handled 7,835 commuters during the morning rush, up from its normal number of 2,500.
Even places not served by BART felt the effects of the strike; 178 more people than usual showed up Monday to ride the ferries out of Larkspur in Marin County. Golden Gate Transit officials did not add more ferries, though, because the parking lots at the ferry terminal cannot accommodate any more cars.
AC Transit provides extra service
AC Transit is providing extra service between the East Bay and San Francisco. The transit service is running three buses an hour instead of the normal two to the San Francisco. Some passengers reported delays of up to two hours to catch a ride across the Bay today. Riders who arrived before 7 a.m. said they had a much better experience arriving into SF than those who arrived after that time.
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