OmniRide Ending Service Early Aug 1

| August 2, 2019 | 0 Comments | News

OmniLink bus

OmniRide Ending Service Early on August 1

WOODBRIDGE, VA – OmniRide will wrap up its local and Metro Express bus services earlier than usual this evening, Thursday, August 1, 2019, to ensure we have a sufficient number of drivers to operate service on the morning of Friday, August 2.

Some OmniRide bus drivers are participating in a work stoppage as of today, August 1. 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). First Transit’s contract with AFSCME expired at midnight July 31, 2019. OmniRide has a contract with First Transit, which hires the bus operators and mechanics who work on OmniRide buses, but OmniRide is not a party to First Transit’s negotiations with AFSCME.

Due to a lack of bus operators today, OmniRide Express buses in the I-95 corridor are only transporting passengers to and from the Pentagon Metro Station, while buses in the I-66 corridor are only transporting passengers to and from the Tysons Corner Metro Station. Fares on OmniRide Express buses are free due to the inconvenience.

Federal law limits the number of hours that bus operators can drive per day as well as the hours of rest required between shifts. In order to ensure that our operators comply with this safety mandate, OmniRide local bus service will end by 7:25 p.m. tonight. The Prince William Metro Express route, which connects the I-95 corridor with the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station, also will end service early tonight. The last Metro Express bus will leave the OmniRide Transit Center at 6:55 p.m., and the last Metro Express bus will leave Franconia-Springfield at 7:30 p.m. For additional details about tonight’s service plan, see OmniRide.com.

Other changes to service for today, Thursday, August 1: OmniRide Local buses are not making off-route trips, and OmniRide’s VRE Shuttle service is suspended.

During this work stoppage, commuters have other alternatives to driving alone including:

  • Vanpool Alliance, a regional vanpool program sponsored by OmniRide, works with many vanpool operators who would be happy to add a rider for just a day or a short period of time. Find out if there’s a vanpool that would work for you by using theVanpool Finder. If you find a match, contact the operator to see if vanpooling will work for you for a day, a month, or permanently.
  • Virginia Railway Express trains offer service in the I-95 and I-66 corridors. Visit VRE.org for more information.
  • Slugging is a free alternative. Learn more at these websites: Sluglines.com or Slug-Lines.com.

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

OmniRide values and appreciates its entire workforce and respects the union’s right to collectively bargain for wages and fringe benefits.  We are doing everything possible to minimize the impact of the work stoppage on our passengers. OmniRide passengers are encouraged to sign up for Rider Express alerts and monitor our website for updates.

Information about Friday morning’s service plan will be posted at OmniRide.com on Friday morning after we know how many operators have reported to work.

 

 

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.

© 2019, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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