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STRIKE OVER: MTS bus drivers agree to new deal

Posted at 11:17 AM, Jun 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-02 21:33:06-04

Unionized drivers of certain Metropolitan Transit System bus routes in San Diego Thursday approved an agreement with their employer, First Transit, to end more than a week of service disruptions.

First Transit provides drivers for the MTS Access paratransit service and 18 of the agency's 95 bus routes. Full service on those routes is scheduled to resume Friday.

"First Transit and the union worked through the night to reach an agreement that both parties found acceptable," said Nick Promponas, senior vice president of First Transit. "We look forward to seeing all the buses and paratransit operations back in service for the residents of San Diego."

The drivers -- members of Teamsters Local 542 -- went on strike May 25 after contract negotiations with First Transit reached a standstill.

Disrupted MTS Access service and bus routes include 18, 83, 84, 870, 944, 945A, 972, 973, 978 and 979. Routes 14, 25, 88, 833, 851, 945, 964 and 965 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.

Major bus routes and the trolley were not affected by the work stoppage, according to MTS. However, Access paratransit in the North County was halted due to the strike, as was the Sorrento Valley Coaster Connection bus shuttle service, according to the North County Transit District.