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Rolling BART Trains A Welcome Sight To Riders After 4-Day Strike Ends

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Elated riders going through the BART station turnstiles when service resumed after the strike.

Elated riders going through the BART station turnstiles when service resumed after the strike.

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — BART trains pulling into the station were a welcome sight for many passengers Friday afternoon after a four-day worker strike.

At the Civic Center station in San Francisco the whooshing sound of trains could be heard around 3 p.m. as lines started forming at the ticket machines and Clipper cards were tapped at the turnstiles.

An announcement over the PA system stated, “BART is now open for service.”

Derrick Sowell, 25, said he was “ecstatic” about the reopening of the transit system.

The Richmond resident said he had to wake up an hour early each morning to get to his job in San Francisco. The ride home on various buses also took more time than usual, he said.

He said he was “a little torn” about the labor dispute since he is a union member and just went through contract negotiations with his employer.

As he walked past the station agent he told him, “Thank you for coming back,” before giving the agent a high-five.

Another man yelled through the glass to the agent, “Thanks for coming to work, man. I hope you got what you wanted.”

Daly City resident Lexi Anderson, 20, said it took her about an hour-and-a-half to get to her job in downtown San Francisco on San Francisco Municipal Railway buses and trains.

“I’d rather there wasn’t a strike at all,” she said, but added she understood the workers’ side in the dispute.

A total of 35 trains were in service as of 3 p.m., when service resumed on the BART system, according to agency officials.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and Service Employees International Union Local 1021 had called for the strike, which began Monday when the unions’ previous four-year contracts expired.

After ongoing negotiations broke off just before 11 p.m. Thursday, BART management and the unions agreed to extend the previous contract for 30 days while both sides continue working toward a new contract.

Benicia resident Andrea Cooper, 36, thought the shutdown would continue into next week.

She was planning on carpooling to get across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco today, but saw on her Facebook page that BART was running this afternoon.

“I’m glad it opened,” she said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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