The city's crippling three-day &to=http://english.pravda.ru/region/2002/12/09/40562.html' target=_blank>transit strike ended Thursday when union leaders _ facing mounting fines, possible jail terms and the wrath of millions of commuters _ voted to send their 33,000 members back to work without a new contract.
Union board members said the workers would return to their job sites starting with the next shifts. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of returning to work and resuming negotiations with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on a new three-year contract.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said buses should be running by evening, and most subways should be operating in time for the Friday morning rush. "It can't be turned on and off with a flip of a switch," he said of the largest U.S. mass transit system.
Roger Toussaint, the combative president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, had recommended that his union's executive board accept the deal.
"We thank our riders for their patience and forbearance," he said.