BART to resume service at 3 p.m. today; contract extended 30 days

BART trains are scheduled to begin running again by 3 p.m. Friday after its unions reached an agreement to extend the current contract for 30 days.

In a statement released late Thursday night, General Manager Grace Crunican thanked California Labor Secretary Marty Morgenstern and his mediation team "for all their help and support in crafting this deal which will allow us to continue bargaining while running the trains."

Although the contract was extended, Crunican said the issues remain unresolved.

"We still have a wide gap of disagreements to bridge over the next 30 days," the statement said.

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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