BART and its train operators are scheduled to sit down this morning and try to seriously work out their lingering differences, because, let's face it, they really don't have much time left. The 60-day "cooling off" period ordered by the governor comes to a halt in 25 days.
Both sides are reporting they're still very far apart, and as of now there's been no movement to come together. All this non-progress over wages has BART officials understandably paranoid, which is why they're asking commuters to go ahead and start planning for another potential strike come Oct. 10.
Given that there's very little commuters can do to start planning other than buy a new car, the transit agency is offering up this idea to comfort everyone: BART officials told ABC News that they might start training its 200 managers to operate the trains should union workers go on strike again. That ought to be a great photo opp for the media.
"That's a planning exercise right now. We're not sure that we're going to be able to do that, but I will say that's something that we're looking at," BART's assistant general manager Paul Oversier told the news station.
Train operators found that news completely distressing.
"I would be extremely concerned if they're thinking about having managers run trains," said Antonette Bryant, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents BART's 400 train operators. "Our train operators go through a 16-week period of training in order for them to be certified and they still have to have a 90-day probation on top of that 16 weeks to operate a train."
Regardless, you can count on extra bus services, more ferries, and a hell of a lot more traffic on the Bay Bridge should things remain as they are now at the bargaining table.