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San Francisco transit strike wreaks havoc on commuters

With the BART transit system on strike, people wait in line to catch a ferry to San Francisco Monday, from Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif. San Francisco Bay Area commuters started the new work week on Monday with gridlocked roadways and long lines for buses and ferries as a major transit strike entered its fourth day. At the same time, federal investigators were searching for clues to a weekend train crash that killed two workers. AP photo

With the BART transit system on strike, people wait in line to catch a ferry to San Francisco Monday, from Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif. San Francisco Bay Area commuters started the new work week on Monday with gridlocked roadways and long lines for buses and ferries as a major transit strike entered its fourth day. At the same time, federal investigators were searching for clues to a weekend train crash that killed two workers. AP photo

OAKLAND, Calif. — Frustrated San Francisco Bay Area commuters started the work week Monday facing gridlocked roadways and long lines for buses and ferries as a major transit strike entered its fourth day, increasing pressure on negotiators to reach a deal that resumes train service.

But there were signs of movement from the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency and its unions. BART spokesman Rick Rice said both sides would return to the bargaining table Monday afternoon and BART hopes to reach an agreement by 6 p.m. so trains can begin running today.

Amalgamated Transit Union local President Antonette Bryant confirmed the talks and said both sides were already back at the bargaining table around 2:30 p.m. She declined to comment further.

Many commuters left for work before dawn Monday only to wait for buses and ferries and sit in traffic.

BART has said a four-car train carrying several employees was returning Saturday from a routine maintenance trip and being run under computer control when it struck workers inspecting a section of track in Walnut Creek.

The Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office identified the victims as Laurence Daniels, 66, of Fair Oaks and Christopher Sheppard, 58, of Hayward. BART has said one was an employee and the other a contractor, but further details weren’t immediately available.

The train was not carrying any passengers due to the strike.

“I think the issues that led to the strike are still there,” said Peter Goodman, an attorney who was waiting to pick up additional riders at a carpooling stop. “It may create some additional sympathy for the BART workers, but I think overall it’s going to be determined by the economic issues.”

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