Commuters relieved potential AC Transit strike averted

SAN FRANCISCO

Normal never looked so good for about 180,000 people who ride AC Transit every weekday. No strike meant the buses arrived and left on time at the temporary Transbay Terminal in San Francisco.

"I thought I would have to drive in and that would have been traffic, lateness, money," AC Transit passenger Danielle Howard said.

"Yeah if the bus drivers are on strike, all of us have problems, too, getting to work," AC Transit passenger Adam Blankman said.

Union officials and AC Transit management made a deal Tuesday at 11 p.m., one hour before the strike deadline.

The agreement gives 1,800 bus drivers, mechanics, dispatchers, and clerical workers a nine and a half percent raise over three years, but they will have to contribute to their medical benefits.

"It's very good news, I feel real good, wonderful," AC Transit driver Steve Irving said. "My passengers are happy and everybody is happy. I'm surely happy to be at work."

Passengers took note that a deal was made without a strike, keeping their morning routine intact. Many hope this will send a message to BART workers and management.

"This is a big relief," AC Transit passenger Elaine Smith said. "And I hope BART takes note that we're able to come together and reach some type of agreement in a timely fashion that didn't affect everybody."

"We just want to be at work and do the right thing," AC Transit driver Monique Dudley said. "That's all."

Union members still have to approve the deal. They're expected to vote later this month.

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