BART strike ends; trains should roll again Friday

BART announced late Thursday an end to a four-day strike that had ground to a halt the Bay Area transit agency's trains.

Officials made the announcement at a press conference just before 11 p.m., saying negotiations with striking unions will continue and that service will begin again Friday afternoon.

The 104-mile rail system shut down Monday, leaving 400,000 weekday riders scrambling for transportation.

The biggest sticking point is money. The unions initially had asked for a 5% raise per year for three years, with inflation protection. BART's most recent counteroffer, proposed Saturday, was for 2% in raises each year over the four years of the contract.The Bay Area Council on Tuesday released an estimate of the environmental cost of the transit strike, calculating that increased traffic congestion is generating almost 16 million pounds of carbon and using up almost 800,000 gallons of gas every day at a cost of almost $3.3 million.

The public policy organization that represents business interests in the nine-county region on Monday had calculated the loss of productivity caused by the strike at $73 million per day from diminished work hours alone, with added effects from reduced spending.


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