A new poll released Thursday showed the majority of Bay Area residents want BART workers to accept a new contract in order to avoid a second transit strike.
The Bay Area Council, a business sponsored public-policy advocacy organization, said 63 percent of the people recently surveyed living in counties where BART travels, think BART employees should accept BART's current contract offer.
6 percent said BART should accept the latest offer by the unions representing the system's almost 3,000 workers.
"The feelings of the public are intensifying," said Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman. "Let's not have a strike. Let's get this thing done. Let's not be like Washington."
The unions representing transit employees and BART management continue to negotiate during the current 60-day cooling off period imposed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Both sides reported Thursday a bit of progress. Union employees have threatened to strike as soon as the morning of Oct. 11.
Wunderman said the message from the public could not be more clear.
"The feelings are intensifying and i think its important for management and labor to take note to conclude this process," said Wunderman.
"They've had plenty of time to work it out, wish they'd come to a resolution," said one BART commuter headed to work.
BART employees went on strike for four days in July, but returned to work, agreeing to continue negotiations. The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce said another BART strike means millions of dollars a day in lost labor productivity.
"There is way too much at stake for the business community in San Francisco and the entire Bay Area," said Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Linscheid.
The scientific survey by EMC Research in Oakland was conducted from Sept. 29 through Oct.2 with a smaple size of 509 people. The margin of error is 4.3 percent.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.