BART Negotiations Last All Night, Gov. Halts Bus Strike

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There’s still no strike --or no deal-- in the six month-long BART contract negotiations. Wednesday, for the third night in a row, federal mediator George Cohen said that BART and its unions were still at the table, that progress was being made, and that the trains would continue to run for one more day.

Cohen came outside around 10:30 PM and told reporters that both sides are “totally engaged” and that negotiations would continue through the night.

Negotiations did last through the night and into the morning-- a KTVU reporter tweeted that negotiations were continuing as of 8:30 AM, and that a union member had been treated for exhaustion.

The continuous uncertainty over whether trains will run is taking its toll: BART officials reported drop in riders this week, and blamed the late-night announcements.

Meanwhile, California governor Jerry Brown halted a possible bus strike by union workers from AC Transit on Wednesday. The union, ATU Local 192, had threatened to strike on Thursday after members rejected a tentative agreement for the second time.

Mirroring his tactics in the BART dispute back in August, Governor Brown appointed a board to investigate the negotiations between AC Transit and ATU Local 192. In a week, Brown can request an order for a 60-day cooling-off period.

“For the sake of the people of the Bay Area, I urge both sides to take this matter seriously and to continue working to find a fair solution,” Brown said in a statement.

The two sides went back to the bargaining table on Wednesday.

AC Transit carries about 100,000 riders a day, BART carries twice that.