The Loudoun County bus transit strike has been a major disruption to the transportation system in the Washington region. The strike, which began in January, was initiated by dozens of Loudoun County Transit employees who were the lowest-paid transportation workers in the area. The strike was expected to continue over the holiday weekend, and it could take several weeks to restore full service. The strike was a result of negotiations between Keolis, a county contractor that operates the transportation system, and Local 689, a union that represents about 160 Keolis employees in Loudoun.
The union had been negotiating the terms of a three-year contract since late last summer, but no agreement had been reached. The letter does not indicate what motivated the decision to end the strike; union members have not yet voted on any contract offers from Keolis. The strike, combined with staff shortages, delayed the deployment of the largest expansion of the Loudoun transportation system in more than a decade. This expansion had been planned to coincide with the opening of the new Silver Line metro stops and provide bus service to those stops. Some 150 workers had been picketing in shifts in front of the Loudoun County transportation complex every day between 3 a.m.The 21-line Silver Line bus service connects passengers to Metro, which opened three subway stations in Loudoun County in November.
The bus system serves residents of the country's wealthiest county and operates Monday through Saturday. Loudoun County Board of Supervisors president Phyllis Randall has emphasized that the county is not a party to contract negotiations, but she understands that the ATU wants to return to the negotiating table. The Loudoun County bus transit strike has caused major disruptions to the transportation system in the Washington region. It is important for both sides to come together and reach an agreement that is beneficial for all parties involved. Hopefully, this will be resolved soon so that commuters can get back on their regular schedules.