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Update: No PRTC Bus Schedule Interruptions Expected

Bargaining parties reach tentative agreement; no bus schedule interruptions expected.

Updated 4 p.m. Friday, March 2

From PRTC:

PRTC is pleased to report that negotiators for First Transit and the union representing the PRTC bus operators (the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; AFSCME) have reached a tentative labor agreement. 

The AFSCME bargaining team will recommend the bus operators ratify the agreement in a vote scheduled for Sunday, March 4, between 10 a.m. and noon.   

As a result, strike preparations have been suspended, and buses will continue to operate regular service.

While ratification is still awaited, PRTC congratulates the negotiators for reaching this tentative accord.

 Original Story

Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC) has outlined scenarios in an effort to keep service going should an impending strike occur.

The local transportation agency issued a press release Wednesday highlighting the possibility of a strike that could impact service as early as Saturday, March 3, as its service contractor, First Transit continues to work out negotiations with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)—the union that represents its bus operators.

According to the release, First Transit and AFSCME could decide  to continue to work without a contract once it expires at midnight March 2 to allow for more time for negotiations, but there is also the possibility of a strike.

As a result, PRTC and First Transit have outlined the below scenarios to maintain service should a strike occur. Agency officials say their goal is to maintain full service, but that depends on the number of workers who choose to participate in the strike.

Scenario One

All bus services operate regular service using PRTC buses, but OmniLink off-route trips may be suspended. This option could require using bus operators from other transit providers to supplement existing personnel.  Operators will have turn-by-turn instructions, but we ask passengers to please offer directional assistance if required.  Regular fares will be charged on all buses.

Scenario 2

OmniLink and Cross County Connector local buses operate regular service using PRTC buses and existing personnel, but OmniLink off-route trips may be suspended.  Regular fares will be charged on local buses. 

OmniRide and Metro Direct buses operate regular service using PRTC buses and existing personnel, supplemented as necessary by buses and bus operators from other transportation providers.  Since some non-PRTC buses will be used, riders should look for signs in the windshields of other buses.  Operators will have turn-by-turn instructions, but we ask passengers to please offer directional assistance if required.  Fares will be free for OmniRide and Metro Direct passengers.

Scenario 3

OmniLink and Cross County Connector local buses operate regular service using PRTC buses and existing personnel, but OmniLink off-route trips may be suspended.  Regular fares will be charged on local buses. 

More Information

PRTC is a multi-jurisdictional agency that provides Prince William, Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties and the Cities of Manassas, Manassas Park and Fredericksburg transportation options through OmniLink and OmniRide bus services.

The agency said it will notify of the strike and possible service interruptions in the event it is necessary.  Please check their website at PRTCtransit.org or call (703) 730-6664 for more information and to sign up for Rider Express email and text alerts.

PRTC says if you don't see a service update on the website or hear a change of status on the recorded telephone message, PRTC buses are operating regular service.

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