Pleasanton commuters are being advised to prepare for another BART strike as early as just after midnight tomorrow.
BART managers and the system's largest labor unions are meeting again today and both sides have expressed optimism that a strike can be averted.
BART negotiators and unions representing 2,400 for the employees, including train operators, have been meeting almost daily in the past week. The unions announced Monday that they would not issue their customary 72-hour notice of a strike, a sign some see as a softening of demands and a possibility that a strike can be averted.
A state-appointed mediator is continuing to meet with both sides in the dispute.
BART's chief negotiator, Tom Hock, said the two sides are talking, and a union negotiator confirmed that proposals have been exchanged, mostly through the mediator. He said he hopes to get a deal by Thursday night at the latest.
Pleasanton city officials and BART representatives are nevertheless planning for a shutdown Friday.
Caltrans plans to extend carpool lanes and hours. BART will charter as many as 200 buses that will take workers to San Francisco from nine stations, including the East Dublin/Pleasanton station in Hacienda Business Park.
Most likely, BART's parking lots at both the east and west Dublin/Pleasanton stations will be free during the duration of the strike where they were used as meeting places for carpoolers during the last shutdown.
According to reports, the 4-1/2-day strike in July cost the Bay Area $73 million a day in lost worker productivity. It is estimated that an October shutdown would cost even more because schools are back in session and fewer employees are on vacation.