Transit riders who use or transfer to the 31 bus routes operated by the City of Phoenix's contractor Veolia Transportation Services (VTS) should have back up plans for alternative travel to work, school, and other destinations beginning Wednesday morning.
Bus operators represented by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 will be voting on a "best and final offer" from VTS, which is contracted to the City of Phoenix to provide transit service.
If bus service disruption should occur, VTS is contractually obligated to provide 60 percent of current service; however, there may be a gap of time in which no service is provided. As soon as possible, contingency plans based 30 percent, 45 percent, and 60 percent of current service will be put into effect depending on the resources available. Under the 60 percent plan, Veolia-operated routes will run the Sunday schedule found in the Transit Book or on-line at Valley Metro.org: local bus routes 0, 1, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15, 16, 19, 27, 34, 39, 44, 50, 52. 60, 70, 80, 90, 106, 122, 138, 154, 170, and 186.
SMART and DASH circulators and commuter buses Express 581, RAPID I-17, I-10-East and SR-51 will have fewer trips.
A list of affected routes can be found at ValleyMetro.org or by going directly to http://www.phoenix.gov/publictransit/strikeinfo.html. It is expected that routes operated by First Transit and MV Transportation, who are also contracted to the City of Phoenix and whose operators are represented by ATU 1433, will continue regular service.
VTS also provides some bus service into the cities of Glendale, ParadiseValley, Peoria, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Sun City.
The following are some alternative transportation suggestions to bus passengers who may be affected if labor agreements are not resolved:
Use the Trip Planner on ValleyMetro.org for bus and METRO schedules
Go to ValleyMetro.org to check the schedules of non-affected bus routes and for the METRO schedule - passengers may be able to use an alternative route.
Carpools or vanpools
Valley Metro offers a ride matching system that allows commuters to quickly and securely find a carpool partner based on proximity, destination and travel route by going to ValleyMetro.org.
If you want to meet your carpool partners at a neutral site, check out the list of Phoenixowned and operated sites at www.phoenix.gov/publictransit/bldgs.html
Taxis, limos, and shuttles
SkyHarbor, operated by the Phoenix Aviation Department, has a list of transportation companies on their website at http://www.skyharbor.com/transportation-and-parking/limos-and-taxis.html
Tips for Employers:
Help your bus-riding employees in advance by providing them with alternatives for getting to work. Following is a list of tips to help get employees to work should the labor negotiations affect bus service.
1. Once you've identified your regular bus riders, provide them with a list of other employees that live in or in close proximity to their zip code. Encourage them to contact fellow co-workers about carpooling if their bus service is affected.
2. If you have an internal carpool matching system, identify your regular bus riders and have them "matched" for carpools with co-workers.
3. Suggest that co-workers who set-up "contingency carpools" make arrangements in advance by discussing pick-up times and locations, and have them exchange phone numbers.
4. Consider working with companies that are in close proximity to help place your regular bus riders in existing carpools or with drive-alone commuters.
5. Promote the Web site, sharetheride.valleymetro.org, to regular bus riders and other commuters and encourage them to receive a match list of potential carpool partners.
6. Arrange for employees to telework if they have the types of jobs allowing them to work remotely.
For strike information and general transit information, go to ValleyMetro.org or call a Valley Metro customer service representative at 602-253-5000; TTY 602-251-2039 for persons with text telephones.