OAKLAND (CBS SF) - BART service will begin running Friday afternoon after BART management and unions agreed to extend two striking unions' existing contract for 30 days, California Secretary of Labor Marty Morgenstern announced tonight.
BART service is expected to be restored by 3 p.m. Friday, BART General Manager Grace Crunican said.
As the two parties broke off negotiations shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday night, Morgenstern announced that the parties will return to work Friday morning and have trains running "in time for the Giants game."
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Negotiations will continue for the next month as a new contract has yet to be agreed on, but the agreement recommended by state mediators to extend BART's exiting contract will keep the trains running until at least Aug. 4, Morgenstern said.
Once a new contract is approved, it will be retroactive to July 1, the day that the previous contract had expired.
"We're very, very pleased that these workers will be back to work and the trains will be running again in the Bay Area," Morgenstern said. "The battle's not over, the job's not done, and everyone will be working as hard as they have between now and Aug. 4 to make sure that they have a good contract that keeps the trains running."
Morning commuters will still have to get to work for a fifth day without BART service, however.
BART had previously announced Thursday night that service would remain suspended Friday as the agency had received "no indication" that employees with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 will end a strike that has complicated transit for four days now.
BART said it would run seven charter buses from five BART stations on a first come, first served basis: at the West Oakland, El Cerrito del Norte, Walnut Creek, Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont stations.
Once the buses are filled they will head to San Francisco's Temporary Transbay Terminal. Each bus can accommodate 50 passengers.
The news was more than welcome for those who have been forced to find other modes of transportation during the strike.
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