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Strike against OCTA expected after union breaks off talks

The union that represents the Orange County Transportation Authority’s maintenance employees broke off negotiations on Sunday and are expected to begin striking at midnight on Monday, Oct. 17, halting OC Bus service throughout the county.

OCTA remains committed to reaching a resolution and is willing to meet with the union, Teamsters Local 952, at any point today, tomorrow and in the future.

“OCTA has made every effort to avoid a strike, understanding the grave impacts it causes to the thousands of passengers who depend on OC Bus as their only means of travel,” said OCTA Chairman Mark A. Murphy, also the Mayor of Orange. “We have offered the union a fair and competitive deal that rewards our maintenance employees for the great work they perform. For the sake of our riders, we hope the union would reconsider its position and come back to the table.”

OCTA has asked the union to return to the bargaining table to avoid further impacting passengers who rely on OC Bus service. OCTA remains hopeful that talks with the union can result in a deal that is good for the employees who keep buses running safely and efficiently, while being competitive in the market and remaining fiscally responsible to Orange County taxpayers.

Public transit is critical for people to reach jobs, education, healthcare, grocery shopping and elsewhere. Approximately 85% of riders use OC Bus as their primary means of transportation and more than half of riders have a total household income of less than $50,000.

Transit service is also vital to students getting to and from school. In the last year, more than 3 million trips have been taken on OC Bus with OCTA’s Youth Ride Free and College Pass programs.

OCTA has met with the union more than 20 times, including mediated sessions, to negotiate a new contract. The existing contract expired Sept. 30.

For updates on OCTA’s services, please visit www.octa.net.

OCTA officials will be available for interviews beginning at 7 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 17, at OCTA Headquarters, 550 S. Main St. in Orange.

About OCTA

The Orange County Transportation Authority is the county transportation planning commission, responsible for funding and implementing transit and capital projects for a balanced and sustainable transportation system that reflects the diverse travel needs of the county’s 34 cities and 3.2 million residents. With the mission of keeping Orange County moving, this includes freeways and express lanes, bus and rail transit, rideshare, commuter rail and active transportation.

The article above was released by the Orange County Transportation Authority.