Frustrated San Francisco Bay Area commuters started the work week Monday facing gridlocked roadways and long lines for buses and ferries as a major transit strike entered its fourth day, increasing pressure on negotiators to reach a deal that resumes train service.
There were signs of movement from the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency and its unions, and BART spokesman Rick Rice said both sides would rturn to the bargaining table sometime Monday afternoon. BART hopes to reach an agreement by 6 p.m. so trains can begin running Tuesday, Rice said.
Traffic leading to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was already snarled for miles by 6 a.m. At BART’s station in Walnut Creek, the line for charter buses was at least a hundred-people deep before dawn.
By 7:35 a.m., BART reported that only two of the nine stations offering charter buses had available seats.
"We need BART to be running right now," Karen Wormley said as she waited for a bus in Walnut Creek. “I need to get to work.”
BART, the nation’s fifth-largest commuter rail system, has an average weekday ridership of 400,000.