You probably won't hear us say this again, at least not for some time, so here it goes: We've got some good news for you, commuters.
BART and its unions have agreed to extend their current contract another 30 days which means the trains will be moving by tomorrow afternoon, just in time for the evening rush hour -- and for you to kick off your weekend.
After a nearly five-day strike and no deal in sight, both sides agreed on one thing, and that was it's time to get the damn trains moving again. According to BART, commuters can expect to hop the next train at 3 p.m. on Friday.
BART says it will still offer limited charter bus service Friday morning as well as in the afternoon and evening.
Here's what BART General Manager Grace Crunican had to say about the news:
I want to thank Labor Secretary Marty Morgenstern and his fine mediation team for all their help and support in crafting this deal which will allow us to continue bargaining while running the trains. We look forward to continuing our work with Secretary Morgenstern and his mediators.
Unfortunately, the issues that brought us to this point remain unresolved. Despite lots of hard work, BART and its unions have failed to come to an agreement on contract issues that matter to all of us today and into the future. We still have a wide gap of disagreements to bridge over the next 30 days.
What we share in common is a commitment to our passengers and the mission of public transit.That focus is why we stand together tonight to announce that we will continue working to reach an agreement during the next 30 days while the trains continue to run. It is my resolve to bargain in good faith and to keep the trains running.
The BART bargaining teams on both sides of the table have worked tirelessly to bargain a new contract under difficult circumstances. Their work is appreciated. Most importantly for me, I want to welcome back all the BART employees who have been on strike during the past week.
Now let's get the trains moving.
BART workers walked off the job on Monday after 15 weeks of failed labor talks; the unions had wanted a 23 percent wage increase on top of better measures to address the increasing crime at BART stations -- something BART management was not prepared to give them.
As a result, commuters have spent the last week scrambling to find alternative (and possibly better) ways to get to work, waiting in long lines to hop the ferry and cramming on buses.
Needless to say, everyone's been rather miserable.