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Press Releases

Wed, Jul 31, 2013

Labor Talks Continue Through July 31

PHOENIX, AZ – Status of service on East Valley routes is still unknown for August 1. Transit talks are ongoing and East Valley bus service continues as scheduled through July 31.  The discussion is now occurring among Union membership as they review and vote on the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Valley Metro asks passengers to prepare for alternative travel options should a strike occur on August 1.

All bus service in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe would be affected should a strike occur. Routes impacted 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.

There are 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) that would also be affected should a strike occur.

Passengers should begin to consider other travel arrangements for getting to work, school and appointments including:

  • Going to valleymetro.org to register for a carpool partner or seek a seat on a vanpool
  • Working with your employer to identify other regular bus riders that you can carpool with or meet at a park-and-ride
  • Getting rides from family members, friends or neighbors
  • Asking to telecommute if your job/supervisor permits it

If a strike occurs, contingency bus service is presently not feasible and passengers may want to consider purchasing All-Day passes, instead of multi-day passes.

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 upon ridership demand.

More about the labor negotiations: First Transit and the ATU have been in labor negotiations since the first of the year to define their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) consisting of operator wages, benefits and work rules. 

In January 2013, Valley Metro executed a contract with First Transit to serve as the operator of bus service originating from the Tempe and Mesa bus maintenance facilities.  On July 1, 2013, First Transit assumed responsibility for the operations of 40 local, express and circulator routes primarily serving the East Valley.  First Transit also supports an operations and maintenance staff of more than 700, including 500+ operators, and a bus fleet of 300. 

“Earlier this year, our Board made a landmark decision to unify bus operations in Tempe and Mesa,” said Steve Banta, Valley Metro CEO.  “First Transit and the Union are integral parts of our plan to more seamlessly serve our customers.  I appreciate their hard work and willingness to continue to meet.”

Continued talks have also been urged by local elected leaders who are concerned about the impact of a work stoppage to their residents and business community.

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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