Santa Clarita Transit announced on Tuesday evening that limited bus service will be starting on Wednesday through a contract with Transit Systems, according to the organization’s website.
The limited services are expected to begin as the local bus drivers’ strike enters its third day.
These limited services will be fare-free. The buses used will not be marked as city of Santa Clarita buses and will be white with digital headsigns displaying the route being served.
Bus Finder and other tracking services will not be available with these limited service options.
Local routes five, six and 12 will be operating with limited service levels, according to the site, while the following School Tripper Routes will be served:
- Route 627.
- Route 623.
- Route 634.
- Route 626.
- Route 621.
- Route 640.
Those routes will follow the normal scheduled pickup and drop-off times, according to the site.
The local routes will not be following a normal schedule as they travel along normal street directions. Wait times for buses are expected to be between 60 and 90 minutes, according to the site.
The William S. Hart Union High School District reported on Monday that students who use Santa Clarita Transit services will need to make alternate plans for travel. The district added that yellow bus services will continue as planned.
“No other local, tripper, or commuter routes can be served at this time. However, the city continues efforts to increase service levels,” the site reads. “The city is also coordinating with the Hart district to cover service gaps.”
Hart district officials shared the following information website: sites.google.com/hartdistrict.org/alternative-transportation-res/home.
Santa Clarita Transit bus drivers and other employees went on strike on Monday following nearly a year of stalled contract negotiations. The city contracts its public transit with MV Transportation, which announced on Sept. 15 that Teamsters Local 572, the union that represents the drivers, is authorized to strike if workers felt their demands were not met.
Approximately 200 Santa Clarita Transit employees formed picket lines outside of the two entrances to the city transit yard. Lourdes Garcia, president of Local 572, said that the union is seeking a 9% pay increase for 2022, an 8% increase this year and an 8% increase in 2024, according to previous reporting in The Signal.
The wages offered by MV Transportation were $19.75 per hour to start, with an increase in pay of $0.25 after a year, a $0.10 increase after two years, another $0.10 increase after three years, a $0.15 increase after four years and a $0.75 increase after five or more years from a driver’s start date, according to previous reporting in The Signal.
The city has maintained a neutral position on the matter.
“The city of Santa Clarita is not party to the negotiations and will not engage as a third party,” read an email sent by Carrie Lujan, spokeswoman for the city, to The Signal on Monday. “We have a contract with MV Transportation to provide transit services. That contract was negotiated and agreed to by MV Transportation.”
For more information on the services being provided by Santa Clarita Transit, visit santaclaritatransit.com/2023-mv-bus-driver-strike-schedule/.