MTS bus drivers' strike continues Thursday

Posted at 7:51 AM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 11:48:05-04
SAN DIEGO -- A strike that interrupted some Metropolitan Transit System bus routes in San Diego entered its second day today.
Unionized drivers -- members of Teamsters Local 542 -- took to the picket lines Wednesday after contract negotiations with their employer, First Transit, reached a standstill. First Transit supplies drivers for paratransit vehicles and 18 of the 95 MTS bus routes, according to the company.
Affected MTS Access service and bus routes include 14, 18, 83, 84, 88, 833, 851, 870, 944, 945, 946, 965, 972, 973, 978 and 979. Routes 25 and 964 were operating with limited service, according to MTS.
MTS Access drivers provide 1,900 daily curb-to-curb trips that get people to hospitals, doctor appointments and regional care centers. The bus routes are generally served by mini-buses and carry around 4,300 passengers a day.
First Transit officials said in a statement that 80 percent of all MTS Access trips Wednesday were completed using third-party providers.
"Right now, our priority is to provide transportation for as many passengers as we are able focusing on those most vulnerable passengers that need to get to a medical appointment," First Transit Senior Vice President Nick Promponas said.
Passengers in North County who transfer to MTS Access paratransit will be impacted due to the work stoppage, and commuters will not be able to use the MTS COASTER Connection service, according to the North County Transit District.”
MTS Access riders and riders of affected fixed route services were encouraged to make alternate transportation arrangements by calling 888-517- 9627 or 800-921-9664. Those who usually use services in the North County were asked to call 760-726-1111.