Bay Area prepares for another BART strike

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco area is bracing for what could be another commuting nightmare on Monday if Bay Area Rapid Transit workers go on strike for the second time in a month

Two transit unions — which represent nearly 2,400 train operators, station agents, mechanics, maintenance workers and professional staff — issued a 72-hour strike notice on Thursday.

While the union and the transit agency continue negotiations, officials are preparing for the worst. They plan to deploy more ferries and buses to get commuters across San Francisco Bay. Also, carpool lanes will be open all day, not just for rush hour. And gift cards for coffee will be handed out to drivers who pick up riders.

However officials say there’s no way to make up for the idling of one of the nation’s largest transit systems which carries more than 400,000 commuters a day.

Under state law, Gov. Jerry Brown has the authority to seek a court-ordered 60-day “cooling off period” that would temporarily block BART workers from striking. His spokesman says “The governor is considering all his options and closely monitoring the situation.”

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