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Work stoppage on some MTS bus routes continues

MTS bus with 'Not in Service' notification on the front and MTS 'Potential Disruption' sign posted at the Palomar Street Transit Center in Chula Vista, Calif. on May 17, 2023.
Charlotte Radulovich
MTS bus with 'Not in Service' notification on the front and MTS 'Potential Disruption' sign posted at the Palomar Street Transit Center in Chula Vista, Calif. on May 17, 2023.

A work stoppage continued Monday for multiple bus divisions of the Metropolitan Transit System, as bus operators and Transdev were back negotiating.

Transit riders who use the Metropolitan Transit System's minibus and Access service, as well as routes in the South Bay and East County, should look for alternate methods of travel.

Transdev, a multinational conglomerate which operates the services, is in contract negotiations with its bus operators, represented by the Teamsters.


"Both parties are hopeful that an agreement will be made soon," according to an MTS statement.

At 3 a.m. Monday, Teamsters Local 542 drivers, mechanics, utility workers and reservationists from Transdev in Copley Park Place, walked out on a unfair labor practices strike.

"These same members rejected the Company's last, best and final offer unanimously," read the Local 542's Twitter. "The offer felt extremely empty & unaware of what our members deserved! Our members deserve a contract where they are seen, heard, & appreciated!"

Jose Puga, vice president of another local, Teamsters 683, said the company was negotiating in bad faith.

"Workers are on strike because they want sanitary bathrooms and safe places to take breaks, and Transdev has refused to bargain in good faith to address these conditions," he said. "Workers have been subject to these grotesque conditions for longer than the six months we had been in negotiations. We are on strike because Transdev has refused to offer workers a fair new contract and has failed to address these appalling conditions."


Negotiations between Transdev and the union started in October 2022. More than 600 drivers are currently affected.

Transdev released a statement rebutting the claims of union leaders, KPBS reported.

"Transdev is actively negotiating with the Teamsters 683 and remains hopeful that we will come to an amicable resolution soon with minimal disruption to the riding public," the statement reads. "We have been engaged in negotiations with the union in good faith, with the goal of reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement that addresses the interests of both parties.

"During this period, we remain dedicated to ensuring the continuity of our operations and minimizing any impact on our valued customers. We have contingency plans in place to mitigate disruptions and to provide ongoing support to our clients. We have made good faith financial concessions, in addition to other important economic concessions and remain open to continued dialogue. We look forward to continuing respectful and productive discussions to find a resolution that meets the needs of our employees and aligns with the long-term sustainability of our business."

Bus routes out of the South Bay division that could be impacted include: 1, 3, 5, 27, 28, 35, 225, 701, 704, 705, 709, 712, 901, 904, 905, 906, 907, 909, 916, 917, 923, 929, 932, 933, 934, 950/950A, 955, 961, 962, 963, 967, 968, 992.

Bus routes out of the East County division that could be impacted include: 88, 115, 280, 290, 815, 816, 832, 834, 848, 851, 852, 854, 855, 856, 864, 872, 874, 875, 888, 891, 892, 894, 921, 928, 936; and

Minibus routes that could be impacted include: Weekdays: 14, 18, 25, 83, 84, 833, 838, 944, 945, 946, 964, 965, 985; Saturdays: 832, 833, 838, 945, 965; Sundays: 832, 833, 838. MTS Access is by appointment only.

The Imperial Avenue Division, Kearny Mesa Division and Trolley System are all running normal service, MTS said.

"We apologize for the delay in service and encourage riders to make alternative transportation plans when available," a statement from the agency reads.

Passengers can check the MTS Alerts & Detours webpage for updates and most accurate service information. Passengers can also contact MTS Information & Trip Planning for trip planning assistance at 619-233-3004, or use the online trip planner at MTS Access riders can call 888-517-9627 or visit for recommended alternative transportation options.