An MTS paratransit bus. Image from YouTube video
An MTS paratransit bus. Image from YouTube video

Service interruptions to some Metropolitan Transit System bus routes in San Diego began Wednesday after contract negotiations between unionized drivers and their employer, First Transit, reached a standstill.

First Transit and the drivers it supplies for paratransit vehicles and 18 of the 95 bus routes failed to reach an agreement on a new contract, MTS announced. Major bus routes and the trolley will not be affected by the work stoppage, according to MTS.

Affected MTS Access service and bus routes include 14, 18, 25, 83, 84, 88, 833, 851, 870, 944, 945, 946, 964, 965, 972, 973, 978 and 979.

Passengers in North County who transfer to MTS Access paratransit will be impacted due to the work stoppage, and commuters will not be able to use the MTS COASTER Connection service, according to the North County Transit District.

MTS Access drivers provide 1,900 daily curb-to-curb trips that get people to hospitals, doctor appointments and regional care centers. The bus routes are generally served by mini-buses and carry around 4,300 passengers a day.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.