LOS ANGELES COUNTY : Ruling Favoring Foothill Transit Ends Bus Dispute

The Los Angeles County Superior Court put an end to a longtime bus war between two competing agencies in the San Gabriel Valley when it ruled Tuesday in favor of Foothill Transit Zone.

The lawsuit came about because two transit agencies--the Southern California Rapid Transit District and Foothill--had been serving the San Gabriel Valley. The Los Angeles County Transportation Commission told the less-expensive Foothill agency to serve routes even though a state appeal court had already told the RTD that it was contractually bound to continue operating the same service.

The RTD could not give up the routes because it would violate the district's contract with the United Transportation Union, which represents RTD drivers. The UTU asked the court to return 14 bus lines, now operated by Foothill, to RTD. The court denied that request Tuesday.

The Foothill Transit Zone was created to test the efficiency of bus service provided by private companies. During five years of service, Foothill's costs have remained lower than the RTD's, transit officials said.

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