Fri. Dec 2nd, 2022

ORANGE – Bus passengers should start to plan alternate ways to travel beginning as soon as Monday, Oct. 17, after the Orange County Transportation Authority was notified that its maintenance employees may go on strike.



OCTA and the union for OCTA’s 150 mechanics and service workers, Teamsters Local 952, are scheduled to meet again this weekend with the hope of resolving the contract negotiations and avoiding any disruptions to bus service. If a strike is called by the union, bus service would halt in Orange County.

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Bus passengers are asked to check for updates at: www.octa.net.

While OCTA remains hopeful of avoiding a strike, it’s also important that bus passengers have sufficient time to make alternate arrangements if an agreement isn’t reached in time.

“We know that any interruption in bus service hurts the people in our community who rely on OC Bus to get where they need to be, whether that’s jobs or to school,” said OCTA Chairman Mark A. Murphy, also the Mayor of Orange. “That’s why we want to avoid a strike. There’s no reason we can’t continue negotiating to reach a resolution without putting the burden on bus passengers.”

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.

OCTA remains hopeful that talks with the union can result in a resolution rewarding the hard work of the employees who keep buses running safely and efficiently, while remaining fiscally responsible to Orange County taxpayers.

Transit service is essential to ensuring the public can get to work and has access to healthcare, including COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites. 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.

In February, OCTA successfully negotiated with Teamsters Local 952, reaching a three-year contract agreement with coach operators. That same month an agreement was reached with the union representing employees in OCTA’s Operations Division.

“We believe the contract offer we’ve made to maintenance employees is in line with what was offered to our coach operators and other union workers. It’s a generous offer that is very competitive in the marketplace,” Chairman Murphy said.

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

For updates, visit: www.octa.net.

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. To sign up for more OCTA news, visit octa.net/GetConnected.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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