The yearslong rancor, a crippling strike, a 60-day cooling off period, more rancor -- why quit when everyone's having so much fun?
After all that, BART and its unions on Thursday night decided to play it out at least one weekend more, averting a potential Friday strike. So, that's the good news: You can ride to work Friday on BART's delightful, padded seating.
BART -- and you're there. For now.
The bad news is, barring a breakthrough in negotiations, BART's unions have drawn a new line in the carpeting: 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. In a worst-case scenario, this could lead large swaths of the Bay Area and its transit-dependent population to come down with a case of The Mondays
The tone coming out of today's negotiations seemed more upbeat -- and less conspiratorial -- than that of recent days.
Per a late Thursday union press release:
Let there be no misunderstanding, that with the Board getting involved, the legislative leaders assisting, and the General Manager willing to sit down at the bargaining table, the Unions are continuing to negotiate and hope to avoid a strike. We remain hopeful that our good faith effort will be met with their good faith effort.
Talks are set to resume at 10 a.m. on Friday.
BART management offered this somewhat passive-aggressive statement late Thursday:
We are grateful the Bay Area will not be impacted by our unions for the next few days and that the trains will be running while we continue to negotiate. BART was prepared to offer a new proposal today but the unions told us they were not ready for it. We will continue negotiations tomorrow at 10am.
Our calls and messages for BART board members have not yet been returned -- but, then again, it is midnight. And it is now theoretically possible to run into them Friday, Saturday, and all but the last minute of Sunday on BART.