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BART strike has commuters facing another day of gridlock

  • With the BART transit system on strike, people wait in line to catch a ferry to San Francisco Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, from Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

OAKLAND — Frustrated San Francisco Bay Area commuters started the work week on 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.

There were signs of movement from the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency and its unions, but no new talks were scheduled. Federal investigators, meanwhile, were searching for clues to a weekend train mishap that killed two workers.

Many commuters left for work before dawn only to wait for buses and ferries and sit in traffic. Some said the accident, while tragic, didn't affect their feelings about the strike.

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."

Traffic leading to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was already snarled for miles by 6 a.m. At BART's station in Walnut Creek, the line for charter buses was at least a hundred-people deep before dawn.

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