News has trickled out of an unannounced bus driver strike that went into effect in Prince George’s County around 4:30 a.m. this morning. The Examiner pegs it at around 100 employees of Veolia Transportation contracted to drive on the county’s The Bus transit system.
The strike apparently caught a lot of commuters by surprise. Clinton resident Robyn Taylor tells us she was waiting to take the number 30 bus this morning to a Long & Foster real estate course, which she’d paid money and taken time off of work for. “It was taking an extremely long time,” for the bus to come, says Taylor. So she ended up calling The Bus. “We found out that they had gone on strike. Why wasn’t there some kind of announcement ahead of time?” she asks. Taylor missed her class.
She was told that some lines are still operating on schedule while others aren’t. For those who live in the residential part of Prince George’s County where Taylor resides, public-transit options are few and far between. A work stoppage of The Bus pretty much cripples her commute. “That’s the only thing I have,” she says.
We’re waiting to hear back from the Prince George’s Department of Public Works on when they expect to resolve the dispute. They gave us the number to a spokeswoman for Veolia but there was no answer. According to the Examiner, the company has been working to renew its contract with Local Teamsters 639, which expired July 1.
The surprise nature of the strike probably won’t garner much good will among regular riders.