Phoenix bus strike: Thousands of riders forced to find another way to work

GILBERT, AZ - At 24 hours in, the bus strike in the Valley has no resolution in sight.

Thursday night, both sides wrapped up talks with a federal mediator. They'll meet again Friday morning.

The union says it's confident a deal will be reached. The dispute isn't as much about pay as it is about job security and benefits.

It affects 40 routes in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe as well as express routes from those cities to Scottsdale and Phoenix.
This affects some 57,000 riders who take the bus daily. And finding another way to work isn't always easy.

Some bus riders relied on family and friends, but others had to shell out a lot of cash to take a cab.

Karen Worcester woke up to the news of the bus strike Thursday morning. But luckily she was prepared for it.

She already had back up plans in place in case of a strike. Karen called a friend for a ride to and from work in Gilbert.

But she says some of her co-workers weren't as lucky. Many of them had to pay for a taxi ride to and from work, which cost them about $40 round trip. And some of them will have to keep shelling out the cash if the strike continues.

"Where I only make a little over $9 an hour, that would be like taking food out of my mouth. And I can't do that, so I'm just grateful that I've got people who are willing to make sure I don't have to walk to work or pay for a taxi or do whatever," Worcester said.

As the strike continues, Karen is concerned about what her co-workers will do.

A strike in March 2012 crippled bus service in metropolitan Phoenix for six days before it was settled.

The East Valley routes impacted are:  FLASH, MERCURY, VENUS, EARTH, MARS, JUPITER, BUZZ, LINK-Main St., LINK-Arizona Ave., 30, 40, 45, 48, 56, 61, 62, 65, 66, 72, 77, 81, 96, 104, 108, 112, 120, 128, 136, 156, 184, 511, 514, 520, 521, 522, 531, 533, 535, 541 and 542.

There are routes traveling into Phoenix (30, 45, 48, 56, 61, 72, 77, 514, 520, 521, 522, 531, 533, 535, 541, 542) and Scottsdale (EARTH, 72, 81, 511, 514) that will also be affected.

See a map of the the affected routes

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