What Are the Ramifications of the BRTA Strike
Many Berkshire Regional Transit Authority riders are being left at BRTA bus stops as a paratransit drivers strike enters its second day.
The Berkshire Eagle reports the 15 bus operators walked off the job Monday, after rejecting the latest contract offer on Sunday.
The current contract dispute is between the BRTA's 15 paratransit drivers and a First Transit subsidiary, Paratransit Management of the Berkshires, which has operated the BRTA's on-call bus service since July 2016. The Pittsfield unit of Teamsters 404 represents both the paratransit and fixed route drivers, but the latter are already under contract.
With the fixed-route drivers on the sidelines, BRTA management was forced to operate a limited regular bus schedule on Monday, which was tweaked for Tuesday.
The limited fixed bus routes resulted in Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Sheffield and Williamstown without BRTA service, and some sections of Pittsfield and North Adams also being shorted on the public transportation.
While regular bus service was impacted, the BRTA did bring in outside vendors to handle the small on-call vans for mobility-impaired individuals.
Teamsters 404 business agent Victor Santiago told The Eagle on Monday afternoon the paratransit strike will continue until management "gets serious and negotiates in good faith."