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Pr. William area bus drivers might strike

Bus operators for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission could strike Wednesday if they fail to reach a new contract agreement by midnight March 2.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the union representing the roughly 150 bus operators, is negotiating a new contract with First Transit, the agency PRTC uses to operate the local and commuter buses that serve the Prince William region.

PRTC officials said that they are not privy to the details of the negotiation, but that a plan is in place to maintain bus service Wednesday if operators strike. First Transit has outlined a contingency plan that would include using any operator who decides not to strike, newly recruited operators who have just completed the First Transit's training program and supervisors of the transit agency who are licensed to operate buses.

PRTC officials said First Transit would also recruit operators from other bus companies in the area if needed.

If First Transit can't find enough drivers to operate all buses Wednesday, PRTC will send a rider express e-mail out, have information on the PRTCtransit.org Web site and have a recorded message at 703-730-6664.

-- Jennifer Buske

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By Washington Post Editors  |  March 1, 2010; 6:18 PM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Commuting , highways , intercounty connector  
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Comments

One of the key factors in transportation is reliabilty and the PRTC Omniride buses are failing in that regard. The buses did not operate for over a week because of the snow and now the drivers are going on strike. If that isn't bad enough PRTC plans to raise fares at least $1 per day and maybe as high as $1.50 per day. That comes out to $11 per day to take the bus to work.

Posted by: buffysummers | March 2, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

It is important to note that First Transit has not given its bus drivers a pay raise for the past three years and during current negotiations are offering a two year salary freeze. Doing so, will mean that First Transit bus drivers will have gone FIVE years without a pay raise, while PRTC's bus fares have increased 31.25% during the past three years.

Currently, First Transit has hired bus drivers from California and are housing them at a local Woodbridge Hotel, I believe..WyteStone Suites in Woodbridge, VA at $75/night.

Interesting that First Transit was hurting sooooooo much for money, but felt that it was financially acceptable to spend money on transporting these replacement bus drivers from California and then paying their room and board. This is a HUGE slap in the face of local unemployed Virginians.

Posted by: LoneRanger4 | March 2, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

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