LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Transit Authority on Tuesday announced a series of contingency measures that are being implemented to minimize the impacts of any work slowdown that may occur because of the current labor dispute involving its operators.
AVTA’s contracted transit provider, Transdev, has been negotiating with Teamsters Local 848 to develop a new contract since their contract expired on Dec. 31. The collective bargaining agreement, which covers approximately 120 operators, has been extended on a month-to-month basis since Jan. 31 and is set to expire Feb. 28.
“AVTA services are vital to the livelihood of thousands of our customers that depend on us to deliver them to school, work and other critical functions,” stated AVTA Executive Director Len Engel. “Under no circumstances will AVTA tolerate a situation where our riders are stranded because of a labor dispute,”
To address any potential work stoppages or slowdowns that may occur because of the contractual dispute, AVTA has worked with Transdev, taking the following steps:
- AVTA has reached out to Metrolink to ensure that there is adequate capacity on the trains in the event that commuter bus service is impacted.
- Transdev has licensed supervisors and operators “on-call” to assume operations of any routes that are left uncovered due to a work slowdown, call in or other labor action.
- Transit riders will be able to find real-time route and schedule updates on the AVTA FaceBook page, as well as on the AVTA Twitter feed, should any routes be delayed or suspended.
- AVTA will also provide additional updates to the media and the public as this issue develops.
“We are imploring both sides, our operators’ union and our contract provider, Transdev, to continue negotiating in good faith to find a mutually beneficial agreement. Specifically, we urge the union to reconsider its position to not engage a federal mediator as Transdev has offered,” Engel stated.
AVTA provides local, commuter and dial-a-ride service to a population of more than 450,000 residents in Lancaster, Palmdale and the unincorporated portions of northern Los Angeles County.
[Information via news release by the Antelope Valley Transit Authority.]