After hearing that the transit strike was possibly nearing an end, there reports now that state mediators have a framework in place to end the strike by the Transit Workers Union, Local 100 against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the TWU executive board has approved it. All it took was an all night meeting with a moderator and the two sides finally ironed out enough differences. While details of the agreement have not been finalized yet, subways and busses are expected to start running before they are. When that might happen right now is still unknown, but we've been reading that it could take
12-24 10-18 hours.
Some details on why it might take a little time from the NY Times:
Most of the 6,300 subway cars have been placed in underground tunnels or in train yards, one next to another. Supervisors have been running empty trains over the rails to keep the rails polished and prevent rust. The 4,600 buses have been stored and guarded at 18 depots.
Employees would have to return to their shifts, tracks and signals would have to be inspected, and subway cars and buses examined before the subways and buses could run.
If all employees promptly returned at the start of their next shift, some subways could begin to run eight hours after managers and supervisors get word that the strikers are returning, officials said.
An executive board member of the TWU just spoke, the results are 38 yes votes. 5 no votes, and two abstentions. What we will say now is that it's about damn time as New Yorkers have been commuting in freezing temps for three days.
UPDATE: WNBC is reporting that during the meeting of the executive board, board members asked TWU head Roger Toussaint if they were better off now than they were before the strike and if their members would receive amnesty. Toussaint answered that they had to trust him and his abilities. They also report that members are supposed to return back to work for their next shift, which is from 10 pm tonight to 6 am tomorrow morning. The MTA has announced that they are still 10-18 hours away from full service with busses coming on line sooner, because the system requires people return back to work in sufficient numbers.
As mentioned in the comments already, unlimited Metrocards will be compensated three days for time lost.
UPDATE: Roger Toussaint stepped to the podium to tell reporters that the his members will return to work immediately and resume service. Picket lines are already starting to dissapate. Also, check out the nice form letters the MTA issued MTA Bus and MTA NYCT employees.
UPDATE: East side riders are in luck! It looks like the some believe
MTA believes the M15 is the most important route in NYC. MTA maintenance workers are taking the M15 out of their garages to check that everything is working well, but until drivers report to work, the busses will remain at their terminals. The busses will not be on the streets for the evening rush, but will be for the morning. No word on subways yet.
UPDATE: Contrary to what WNBC was reporting, Mayor Bloomberg says that the next shift for workers is at 4 pm, not 10 pm. Bloomberg also says that the contingency plan will end at midnight and that most subways will run by the morning. We'll have to hear what the TWU and MTA end up saying on that.