Tempe, EV bus strike extended through Friday - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Tempe, EV bus strike extended through Friday

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Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 11:03 am | Updated: 11:45 am, Thu Mar 15, 2012.

A transit union has delayed a vote to end the drivers’ strike in Tempe and some East Valley routes, leaving passengers stranded at least through Friday.

All drivers had been set to vote on Thursday, but the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 said on Thursday that it couldn’t handle elections for separate Phoenix and Tempe contracts on the same day.

Valley Metro said the goal is to restore full service on Friday if the union votes to end the strike, but the transit agency couldn’t guarantee all routes would operate normally. A Friday Tempe union vote could restore service there as early as Saturday.

The union and transit workers said they reached a tentative agreement Wednesday.

Drivers went on strike late Saturday, forcing Veolia to scale back many routes to hourly Sunday service scheduled while other routes were cancelled. Tempe was hit the hardest among East Valley communities, with some disruption in Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa.

The Veolia routes in Tempe are operating at 42 percent of normal weekday service levels, and overall Tempe service is at 60 percent of normal levels.

The strike has cancelled service on the East Valley Express routes 520 and 521, and Orbit routes Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. Only Orbit Earth is operating.

Route 72 is operating on a Saturday schedule, and Sunday schedules are in place for routes 48, 56, 62, 65, 66, 72, 81 and 108.

Regular service is in place on routes 30, 40, 45, and 61.

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