After more than 14 months of negotiations, the threat of a strike that would disrupt bus service in the valley appears to be getting closer to reality.
Today, the City of Tempe warned people to be ready for the possible strike. “Transit riders who use or transfer to the 31 bus routes operated by the City of Phoenix’s contractor Veolia Transportation Services (VTS) should have back up plans for alternative travel to work, school, and other destinations beginning Wednesday morning, August 24, 2011”
Frustration is running high for many people that rely on public transportation to get around. According to the AZ Republic, “taking the bus isn’t a matter of choice for most Phoenix passengers. It’s a necessity. In a survey of riders last year, seven of 10 said they had no personal access to an automobile.”
According to an advertisement in today’s newspaper that was placed by Veolia Transportation, the top 100 bus drivers earn salaries of over $63,000, and the top 500 drivers average over $50,000. When wages and benefits are combined, the top bus drivers earn, on average, $90,000. ( up to 5 weeks vacation, 11 paid holidays, company funded life insurance, etc. )
Hopefully the sides will work something out. On Twitter today METRO did say that “METRO plans to provide regular service all wk. It’s highly unlikely we’ll be affected by the potential bus strike. Info: www.valleymetro.org”
If you rely on the bus, you might want to have a backup plan. Carpool, taxi, shuttle, etc. Good luck!
** UPDATE: Thanks to Friends of Transit, we found this link from the City of Phoenix website where they have updated information on the Transit Labor Negotiations!
Follow Valley Metro RPTA on Twitter for more updates!**
Thanks to 3tv for the breaking news on Tuesday evening! As of the 9pm evening news, we hear that there will indeed be a bus strike in Phoenix!
Wednesday am, AZCentral reporting that the strike is not imminent. “Bus strike looms in Valley”
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