San Joaquin RTD Sees Service Slowdown

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STOCKTON-

The San Joaquin Regional Transit District says their service is affected for Tuesday after some bus operators did not show up to work as scheduled.

Fourteen drivers called in sick, according to the district.

Routes 43, 51, 61, 77 and 83 remain open but buses are stopping with less frequency. Routes 310 and 315 are closed completely.

“Our goal is really to get as much service as possible for kids going to and from school, hopefully a small amount of our customers were affected today by this action,” said Paul Rapp with San Joaquin RTD.

Tuesday was the first day of school in Stockton.

To try to alleviate slowing, the San Joaquin RTD says they’ve increased service for Metro Hoppers 1 through 8.

The San Joaquin RTD says workers are upset over a new contract with new schedules that don’t allow for as much overtime.

“Year after year after year, it’s been worse and worse and worse, and the last one is the straw that broke the camel’s back. They want to work 8 hours a day and the district has them work maybe 7, 7 and a half,” said Alan Wagner, President of ATU Local 276.

Wagner claims it’s an internal uprising, not a call to action.

“It’s almost like the Arab Spring, it’s a ground swell from the operators. They’ve had enough. They feel there’s little regard for the employees,” Wagner said.

4 million people ride RTD every year in San Joaquin County — people like Stanley Dixon, who was waiting longer Tuesday to get on the road.

“People have to go to work, people have to go to school, appointments or whatever it may be,” Dixon said.

ATU Local 276 says they’ve got a no strike, no work stoppage clause – and that this isn’t another looming strike like BART in the Bay Area. But things between employer and employee aren’t healthy

The Amalgamated Transit Union represents the workers in the SJRTD, as well as workers in the Bay Area Rapid Transit.

 

Ian McDonald contributed to this report.

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