Westchester commuters get short reprieve as new transit strike deadline set

Westchester commuters were relieved Friday that transit workers didn't walk off the job but are still worried since no contract agreement was reached.

The latest contract offer by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) included a 9 percent increase over three years, but the Transport Workers Union (TWU) turned it down. Instead the union called a partial strike against two private bus lines that are in the process of being taken over by the MTA. If a deal cannot be reached by 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, the strike will be extended to subways.

MTA officials said the latest offer was their final one. In addition to pay, the main sticking points are pension rules and health care benefits. If a strike happens next week, the city's contingency plan will kick in, which means only cars carrying a minimum of four passengers will be allowed to enter Manhattan below 96th Street between the hours of 5 and 11 a.m.

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