SAN DIEGO — San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Chair Stephen Whitburn spoke out for an end to an ongoing workers’ strike that’s impacting bus routes.

Whitburn made that announcement Friday, calling on Transdev, the company that is contracted by MTS, to take the necessary steps to immediately restore full service to MTS riders.

“We are deeply concerned about the failure of one of our contractors Transdev to provide transit service to many of our MTS customers,” Whitburn said. “Thousands of bus riders say the South Bay and East County are having difficulty getting to work or school or medical appointments or other destinations because of the disruptions in bus service. And many people with disabilities have been left without any transportation at all due to the lack of access para-transit service.”

The public transit service provider advised riders Saturday the following bus routes could be affected:

  • Copley Park Division (MTS Access and minibus service): Bus routes out of the Copley Park Division that could be impacted include: MTS Access, 14, 18, 25, 83, 84, 833, 838, 944, 945, 946, 964, 965, 985; Saturdays: 832, 833, 838, 945, 965; Sundays: 832, 833, 838.
  • South Bay Bus Division: Bus routes out of the South Bay division that could be impacted include: 1, 3, 5, 27, 28, 35, 225, 701, 704, 705, 709, 712, 901, 904, 905, 906, 907, 909, 916, 917, 923, 929, 932, 933, 934, 950/950A, 955, 961, 962, 963, 967, 968, 992.

On Friday, Transdev and Teamsters Local 683 participated in labor negotiations for over six and a half hours before Teamsters Local 683 ended negotiations without an agreement, Mitun Seguin, Transdev’s vice president of marketing and communications, told FOX 5 Friday.

“Despite Transdev’s movement at the bargaining table, Teamsters Local 683 provided no assurances it would end its labor strike impacting the South Bay Fixed Routes. Again, we apologize for any inconveniences Teamsters Local 683 strike has caused passengers and the public. Transdev is hopeful a deal can be achieved soon, and Transdev remains willing and ready to return to the bargaining table when the Union desires to resume negotiations.” 

The strike started on May 16 when some drivers walked away from their buses at the end of their shift and left management to park the buses inside the facility.

Riders can check out updates on the MTS Alerts and Detours website.

Workers are asking for better working conditions and pay. Jose Puga, with the bus operators’ Teamsters 683, told FOX 5 workers are often forced to work 13 hours with long, unpaid periods that are sometimes counted as extended meal periods.