The union representing Metro Bus drivers says Monday's absenteeism wasn't an organized sickout.
Nearly 100 bus drivers didn't report to work yesterday -- ten-times the number who might miss on an ordinary day. But yesterday wasn't ordinary in St. Louis. It was Opening Day at Busch Stadium. There has been speculation that the drivers, disgruntled over the lack of progress in contract negotiations, may have been trying to disrupt traffic heading downtown for the Cardinals' home opener.
If that was their aim, it wasn't very effective. Metro Transit CEO John Nations says there were significant delays on Missouri bus lines yesterday, but MetroLink and Illinois bus lines weren't affected. Since most public transit rider heading for Busch Stadium use MetroLink, they saw few delays.
Nations says the transit agency called in extra drivers in an effort to keep the buses rolling. But many commuters still saw significant delays. On some lines, buses were running an hour or more behind.
The transit agency and the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents the bus drivers have been locked in contract talks for months. A spokesman for Local 788 tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that drivers weren't encouraged by the union to call in sick, but may have acted in frustration over the slow pace of contract talks.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - About 50 passengers of a light rail train in suburban St. Louis are uninjured after an overhead power line fell on top of the train.
It happened Wednesday morning near a MetroLink station on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. The passengers were stuck on the train for about an hour before being safely evacuated.
MetroLink service was shut down between Wellston and the North Hanley station until power was restored. Passengers in that area were taking a bus.
Fans interested in avoiding the traffic jams before and after the National League Championship Series Game 6 tonight (and Game 7 if necessary tomorrow) are encouraged to take public transit.
Metro will have additional staffing to monitor MetroLink platforms and assist crowds and will provide extra service before and after the game.
Free Park-Ride lots are located next to many of the MetroLink stations in Illinois and Missouri making it convenient to take MetroLink to the Stadium Station or to another nearby station in downtown.
Fans who want to know which MetroLink Park-Ride lot is the closest to their home or work can check out www.metrostlouis.org to use the Trip Planner feature.
Area transportation officials are trying to make it as easy as possible for fans to travel into downtown St. Louis for the Cardinals and Blues games today. The Redbirds open postseason play at Busch Stadium with a 4:07 first pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Blues open their regular season against the Nashville Predators with a 7:30 faceoff at Scottrade Center.
The Missouri Department of Transportation reminds drivers heading eastbound on Interstate 70 they now have the option of taking the new Tucker Boulevard exit ramp and following the new section of Tucker into downtown. The Pine Street entrance to westbound Interstate 64/40 opened on Wednesday. MODOT also says it will not have any work zones in the city of St. Louis prior to the games.
The Illinois Department of Transportation will postpone westbound lane restrictions on Interstate 64 and Interstate 55/70 in the Metro East until 8 p.m.
And Metro transit spokeswoman Patti Beck says the agency will have extra staff on duty today and will be prepared to add MetroLink trains should there be signs of crowding.
Riders on the MetroLink could experience short delays this week.
Work is scheduled to start today and is expected to run through Sunday. MetroLink will operate on a single track at the Rock Road and Wellston stations today, Friday, and over the weekend. Red Line passengers could be delayed up to 10 minutes. Tuesday through Thursday, a single track will operate at the UMSL South, UMSL North, and North Hanley stations.
Blue Line passengers could then experience short delays.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The agency that operates mass transit services in the St. Louis area will resume contract talks with a labor union on Sept. 9.
The plan to renew talks with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788 was announced Thursday by Bi-State Development Agency president and CEO John Nations. The union represents operators of St. Louis Metro bus and the light rail MetroLink, along with mechanics and some clerical staff.
Tens of thousands of commuters use Metro buses and MetroLink trains every day in the St. Louis region.
Nations says the union has assured him there will be no work stoppages before the two sides return to the negotiating table.
Metro Transit officials and union leaders will resume contract negotiations early next month.
Bi-State Development Agency President & CEO John Nations officials with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788 have assured him there will be no work stoppages before both sides sit down and talk the week of September 9th. The union represents MetroBus and MetroLink operators as well mechanics and some clerical staff.
Nations says a work stoppage would be unfair to the nearly one million passengers a week who ride MetroLink and Metro buses.