OmniRide Announces Potential Work Stoppage

| July 31, 2019 | 0 Comments | Bristow Biz, News

WOODBRIDGE, VA – OmniRide wants to make passengers and the public aware of a potential disruption in transit services beginning Thursday, August 1, 2019.

We have been informed of a potential work stoppage by the union representing our bus drivers.

If OmniRide has too few bus operators to run regular service on August 1, a modified version of our Emergency Service Plan (ESP) will be implemented due to Metro’s summer shutdown.  To offset any inconvenience, fares will not be charged on any impacted services during this week if the ESP is in effect.

OmniRide’s service contractor, First Transit, has been negotiating since March 2019 with the union that represents its bus operators at OmniRide, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Maintenance Technicians also are represented by this union, however, they have a separate labor contract.

The AFSCME Union and First Transit reached a tentative agreement in late June 2019, however, the union later rejected that contract offer.  On July 30, 2019, OmniRide learned that AFSCME rejected an offer to extend the current contract through September 30, 2019, to allow the parties to continue negotiations.

The labor contract—which OmniRide and First Transit had expected to be ratified based on the prior tentative agreements—expires today, July 31, 2019, and some union members have come forward to tell us the union is planning a work stoppage. Meanwhile, written communication from the union says there is no work stoppage planned and there is an additional negotiation meeting scheduled for August 13, 2019.

OmniRide values and appreciates its entire workforce and respects the union’s right to collectively bargain for wages and fringe benefits.  We will work diligently to minimize the impact of this process on our passengers.

Beginning Thursday, August 1, OmniRide will monitor the number of drivers reporting for work and will implement the ESP if attendance rates indicate there will not be enough drivers to meet essential services. OmniRide passengers are encouraged to sign up for Rider Express alerts and monitor our website for updates.

In the I-95 Corridor:

  • When the ESP is implemented, OmniRide Express buses in the I-95 corridor typically operate to/from the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station. However because Metro rail service is currently unavailable at Franconia-Springfield, OmniRide Express buses will operate to different locations if necessary. Visit prior to your trip to learn if the ESP is in effect and get details about your specific route.
  • The Prince William Metro Express bus will continue to operate to/from Franconia-Springfield as usual, even if the ESP is in effect.

In the I-66 Corridor:

  • When the ESP is implemented, OmniRide Express buses in the I-66 corridor operate only to/from the Tysons Corner Metro Station.

If the ESP is implemented, OmniRide also will encourage increased use of slugging as well as the variety of connecting services at the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station.

About Us

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), operating as OmniRide, provides a variety of services in Prince William County, the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park including: OmniRide Express and OmniRide Local bus routes; OmniRide Ridesharing for the promotion of carpools and vanpools; and OmniRide Employer Services which helps businesses to implement and expand commuter benefit programs. PRTC also co-sponsors the Virginia Railway Express in partnership with the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.

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