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The Region : RTD Union Plans Appeal

The president of the 5,000-member union representing Southern California Rapid Transit District drivers said the union will appeal last week’s court decision allowing the Foothill Transit Zone to compete in the San Gabriel Valley.

Foothill Transit, a partnership between 20 area cities and the county, contracts with private bus companies to provide service. Unions representing RTD drivers and mechanics challenged the transit zone’s creation, arguing that it threatened union jobs and was an illegal breakup of the RTD.

Foothill was approved by the county Transportation Commission, which oversees county transportation policy, in late 1987, as a low-cost alternative to the RTD. Since December, it has operated service on express routes from Diamond Bar and Glendora to downtown Los Angeles.

Last week, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Eli Chernow upheld Foothill Transit’s continued operation, which includes taking over up to 20 of the RTD’s San Gabriel Valley lines by mid-1990. But Chernow, noting that the precedent-setting case had political overtones, said his ruling would not take effect until Aug. 2, to allow the unions time to appeal.

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“We’re not going through the motions,” said Earl Clark, president of the United Transportation Union. “We think we have a good chance on appeal.”


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