North County bus drivers reach 5-year deal

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NCTD Breeze

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The North County Transit District announced Thursday that bus drivers ratified a five-year contract with their employer, First Transit Inc.

NCTD officials said last week that they had been warned that a strike was imminent, but the drivers and Cincinnati-based company, which contracts with transit agencies to supply bus operators, reached an agreement soon after.

“We are very pleased that the Breeze bus operators ratified the agreement,” said NCTD Executive Director Matthew Tucker.

“The Breeze bus operators are not just drivers, they are our ambassadors for both customers and the general public,” Tucker said. “NCTD appreciates the professionalism of our Breeze bus operators and we look forward to their continued service and support.”

A strike would have crippled NCTD bus services for a few weeks, because it would have taken some time to round up replacements. The Coaster train and Sprinter light rail would have been unaffected, according to the NCTD.

First Transit operates in 242 locations in 39 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and four Canadian provinces.