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By: Paul Atkinson on 03/15/2012
Phoenix bus riders will see normal service return after the end of a six-day strike by drivers. They overwhelmingly approved a new contract with Veolia Transportation Services. But it may be another day until regular bus service resumes in Tempe as its drivers vote on a new labor agreement. KJZZ’s Paul Atkinson reports.
640 Phoenix bus drivers who are members of the Amalgamated Transit Union local 1433 went on strike last week after contract negotiations with Veolia broke down. 300 Tempe bus drivers also walked off the job for the same reason.
Regular bus service in Phoenix resumes as drivers' strike ends. (Image courtesy of Valley Metro)
The result was a nightmare for people who rely on public buses to take them to work, school, or appointments.
Phoenix Public Transportation Department spokeswoman Marie Chapple says the strike by Phoenix drivers affected 31 of the 101 routes supervised by Valley Metro.
“But what people have to understand –in that 31 routes were local routes, quite a few local routes,” says Chapple. “And those were some of the buses that saw the most heaviest passenger loads. The highest ridership in the valley, so this is really crucial to a great number of people.”
Chapple says all Phoenix buses are back in service. If Tempe bus drivers approve a new contract today, city officials expect bus service in Tempe to back to normal Saturday.