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Wed, Jul 31, 2013

Passengers Should Seek Options for Travel

PHOENIX, AZ – Passengers in East Valley cities and some parts of Phoenix and Scottsdale should seek out their best options for travel due to a work stoppage that has halted bus service. The strike is a result of a labor dispute between First Transit, Valley Metro’s bus operator for the East Valley as of July 1, and ATU 1433, the bus operator union.

“This decision by the ATU is disappointing,” said Mesa Councilmember and Valley Metro RPTA Board Chairman Scott Somers.  “I expect continued service with ongoing good faith dialogue.  A strike is unacceptable and would be devastating to riders who rely on the service to get to/from work, school and medical appointments.  It’s especially distressing in this economic condition.  I hope ATU will consider how vital transit service is to our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Routes affected by the strike are:  FLASH, MERCURY, VENUS, EARTH, MARS, JUPITER, BUZZ, LINK—Main St., LINK—Arizona Ave., 30, 40, 45, 48, 56, 61, 62, 65, 66, 72, 77, 81, 96, 104, 108, 112, 120, 128, 136, 156, 184, 511, 514, 520, 521, 522, 531, 533, 535, 541 and 542.

Routes traveling into Phoenix (30, 45, 48, 56, 61, 72, 77, 108, 156, 514, 520, 521, 522, 531, 533, 535, 541, 542) and Scottsdale (EARTH, 72, 81, 511, 514) are also affected by the strike.

“It is imperative that ATU and First Transit work together in good faith to achieve a fair and equitable solution to this labor dispute for the good of our transit passengers,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell.  “I urge ATU and First Transit to quickly resolve this issue in order to avoid impacting thousands of passengers and their essential travel.”

It is unknown how long the strike will last; contingency bus service is presently not feasible.

“I demand that both sides get to the bargaining table immediately,” Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.  “The tens of thousands of people in Phoenix and across the Valley who rely on public transit to get to work, to school and the doctor deserve as much.  It’s time that everyone roll up their sleeves and get to work so that any stoppage in bus service is as minimal as possible.”

During the work stoppage, passengers should seek out other travel options:
• Go to valleymetro.org to register for a carpool partner or seek a seat on a vanpool.
• Work with your employer to identify other regular bus riders that you can carpool with or meet at a park-and-ride. 
• Ask to telecommute if your job/supervisor permits.
• Coordinate rides with friends, neighbors and/or family. 

Riders will be kept up-to-date via valleymetro.org. Updates will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter. Customer Service at 602-253-5000 is always a resource. Other bus routes and light rail are not affected by the strike. Increased capacity of light rail can be provided if ridership demands.

About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of light rail. In calendar year 2012, total ridership for the system was 72.5 million passengers—an increase of 3.8 percent over 2011. The first 20 miles of light rail opened December 2008. Six light rail extensions are planned or under construction that will create a 57-mile system by 2032. Valley Metro also offers transit options including commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Two Boards of Directors set the policy direction for the agency with the intent of advancing the regional public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter or visiting valleymetro.org.


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