Courtesy of North County Transit District

A potential disruption to bus service in the North County was averted Thursday when drivers and their employer announced a tentative labor agreement.

On Wednesday, the North County Transit District warned that a strike was imminent by drivers against First Transit, a Cincinnati firm that contracts with the agency, though negotiations were still underway.

With the tentative three-year deal reached, First Transit said members of Teamsters Local 542 will vote on ratification next week.

“This tentative agreement is welcomed news for thousands of people across the region that depend on NCTD to get to work, school, and other destinations,” said Matthew Tucker, NCTD’s executive director.

“We are happy that First Transit and the drivers’ union representatives were able to work together and come to a tentative agreement,” Tucker said. “We are hopeful that ratification will be forthcoming next week.”

A strike would have impacted the NCTD’s Breeze bus, as well as the Lift paratransit service and Flex on-demand program. The Coaster train and Sprinter light rail would have been unaffected, according to the NCTD.

First Transit operates in 242 locations in 39 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and four Canadian provinces.

—City News Service

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