PITTSBURGH, CA - BART riders who rely on transportation in and out of the San Francisco Bay Area will need to find an alternate mode of transportation Friday morning.
BART workers announced they will strike, effective midnight Friday.
Bargaining talks between BART officials and union leaders broke down Thursday afternoon. A union leader said they agreed on economic, health care and pension issues, but remained apart on work rule issues.
"I'm angry," said BART rider Nancy McMurrow of Pittsburgh.
For the more than 400,000 BART commuters, it's a hellacious end to a week spent not knowing whether the strike would take affect.
"That's been kind of painful," said BART rider Frank Huster of Pittsburgh.
Thursday marked 200 days since the opening of the negotiation period. Many BART riders feel that's plenty of time to reach a deal.
"I work at a big bank, and we don't go on strike and put them into that position, so it doesn't seem fair," Huster said.
"[A strike] just kind of screws everybody," said BART rider Kelsey Walden of Sacramento.
Walden lives in Sacramento and commutes to and from San Francisco twice a week to attend classes at the Art Institute. She takes the Amtrak from Sacramento and hops on BART in Richmond. As the threat of a strike gets closer and closer, Walden has a message for Bart leaders:
"Get it together."
"Get over it, just do it," said Nancy McMurrow who uses BART to get to and from the San Francisco Airport.
A strike would put 23,000 BART employees on the picket lines, bringing train service to a halt.
Caltrans is preparing drivers for traffic backups on highways leading into the Bay Area, and has extended the HOV (diamond) lanes Friday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.
ABout 150 free shuttles will be at nine BART stations Friday morning at 5 a.m. to carry passengers to the Bay Area. Riders looking to land a seat on one of those busses will have to do so on a first come first serve basis.
For more information on traffic conditions, call 511.