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Arbitration ruling staves off bus cuts

Submitted by on 1, November 10, 2010 – 12:02 amNo Comment

AC Transit has reached a deal with its drivers and mechanics that would allow the bus agency to hold off on service cuts they had planned to make in December, the agency announced Tuesday evening.

The deal, which was reached through binding arbitration, requires drivers and mechanics to contribute to health and benefit plans and implements work rule and holiday changes that will save the bus agency $38 million over the three-year course of the new contract, the agency announced.

The new contract saves Alameda from a planned reduction in weekend service and elimination of late-night service that would have taken place in December. That said, the agency’s top official said further cuts may still be made.

“We are not out of the woods yet when it comes to having sustainable long-term financial stability,” Interim General Manager Mary King was quoted as saying in a press release. She said additional cuts will probably need to be made in 2011.

Riders have already endured two rounds of cuts this year and fare hikes.

The drivers’ last contract lapsed on June 30. The agency tried to impose a new one on July 18, but the union challenged it in court.

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