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BART unions issue 72-hour strike notice; agency alerts riders to prepare alternative travel plans

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officials yesterday advised riders to prepare alternative commute routes in the event of what could become the second strike by BART unionized employees in less than two months.

Yesterday, the agency acknowledged that two unions issued a 72-hour strike notice.

"We are very disappointed and hope they reconsider their options," said BART spokesman Rick Rice in a prepared statement.

In July, BART shut down for four-and-a-half days after contract negotiations broke down between the transit agency and its two largest unions, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555. Employees walked off the job July 1 after the previous contract expired on June 30.

Service was restored on July 5 for 30 days after California Gov. Jerry Brown sent in state mediators to assist in the negotiations. The unions represent about 2,300 BART workers.

Although BART officials are "working hard at the negotiating table to avoid a strike," if the unions call a second strike "we urge Bay Area residents to plan ahead" for their commutes, agency officials said in a press release posted yesterday on BART's website.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/2/2013