On Sunday, Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) management and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 (ATU) representatives reached a tentative agreement for a new four-year contract, just hours before employees were scheduled to walk off their jobs.
"We are glad to announce we have reached a new tentative agreement with ATU and have avoided a strike that would have disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of BART riders and millions of commuters," said Thomas M. Blalock, BART's president of the board of directors. "If the membership ratifies it, this new tentative agreement will help put BART on a more solid financial footing by reducing the cost of benefits and making work rules more efficient. We are pleased these last-minute negotiations resulted in a positive outcome. We thank our riders for their patience during this negotiating period."
BART is working to eliminate an estimated $310 million, four-year deficit amid a decline in ridership, state transit funding and sales tax revenue. The BART Board had set a target of cutting $100 million in labor costs over four years.