BART Strike Contingency Plan Unveiled

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Bay Area
    File image of a BART train.

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - With another possible strike on the horizon, Bay Area Rapid Transit officials unveiled a transportation contingency plan that will provide commuters with a range of options.

    The $21 million plan released Tuesday would provide 200 free charter buses, extra car pool lanes and even limited train service run by managers, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

    If no deal is reached, BART employees could strike as early as Oct. 11, when a cooling-off period ordered last month by Gov. Jerry Brown expires.

    The contingency plan is more aggressive than the one used during a strike in July -- the number of charter buses was tripled in the new plan -- primarily because BART ridership peaks in the fall by about 30 percent.

    An average of about 200,000 riders takes BART roundtrip on a weekday.

    Officials also planned to have carpool lanes in effect all day, rather than just during commute hours. New diamond lanes would be added on Highway 24 near the Caldecott Tunnel.

    Other transit agencies, including AC Transit, San Francisco Muni and ferries, will match the number of extra trains, buses and boats from the last shutdown, the Mercury News reported.

    Even with the cooling off period more than halfway complete, BART management and its largest labor unions are still far apart on key issues including wages, pensions and health care benefits. The two sides began meeting again Monday.

    The plan still needs approval by BART's board of directors; unions say the plan puts riders at risk.