‘First Transit’ MTS drivers strike after rejecting recent offer

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Drivers on some of the MTS bus routes went on strike Wednesday after rejecting a recent offer for increased wages and health insurance from First Transit.

The members of Teamsters Local 542 voted against the most recent offer from First Transit, which operates San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) paratransit bus services and 18 of MTS’s 95 fixed-route bus services.

Service may be impacted starting on May 25 for passengers of these MTS routes and paratransit bus services. There will be no impact on the vast majority of MTS bus routes or Trolley.

Service in North County was already seeing effects of the strike Wednesday morning. LIFT paratransit service and MTS coaster connection to Sorrento Valley were halted. 

MTS Access, operated by First Transit, will continue to serve medical and life sustaining appointments. Some paratransit service may be provided by taxi services and other services. Additional services will be provided based on availability of drivers. 

"We are deeply disappointed that our employees have rejected an offer that provides improvements in health insurance and increases in pay," said Nick Promponas, senior vice president of First Transit. "An employee would have realized a substantial wage increase over the four-year contract and more paid-time holidays for those with less than three years of service. It’s unfortunate that the choice included rejection and potentially stranding our most vulnerable passengers."
Service will also be impacted on the 18 fixed-route services First Transit operates for MTS.

These routes are:

  • 14
  • 18
  • 25
  • 83
  • 84
  • 88
  • 833
  • 851
  • 870
  • 944
  • 945
  • 946
  • 964
  • 965
  • 972
  • 973
  • 978
  • 979 

 First Transit is asking for MTS passengers to make alternative arrangements.

For appointment information, passengers should call 888-517-9627 or 800-921-9664. Alternative transportation options are also available at www.sdmts.com.

Categories: Local San Diego News