East Valley public transportation will resume Monday, after a tentative agreement was reached between Valley Metro’s East Valley bus operator, First Transit, and the bus operators’ union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433.
“We’re going to be back in business tomorrow and back at work like we normally would be,” Valley Metro communication manager Susan Tierney said. “I’m hopeful that everybody is very happy with deal.”
The three-year tentative agreement between the union and First Transit came after 32 hours of negotiations and a four-day strike by more than 500 bus operators. ATU 1433 President Bob Bean said Sunday that the deal must be ratified by the union within the next week and a half.
An estimated 57,000 riders were affected by the strike beginning last Thursday and more than 40 bus routes in the East Valley were shut down.
“We understand why they [passengers] would be frustrated,” Tierney said. “At this point, it’s great to have service. We definitely know that our passengers need to use transit, especially if they don’t have any other options to travel.”
Tierney said every route impacted by the strike will be back in operation Monday morning.
“More than anything, Valley Metro is very happy for our passengers. We can say service begins again tomorrow: Monday morning, first thing, fresh start. We are very happy to be back in our business of moving people here in the Valley”