Orange County buses will run on Monday despite maintenance worker strike

An Orange County Transportation Authority bus on its route in Newport Beach in February 2020.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Buses in Orange County will be in service again on Monday amid a maintenance worker strike in order to get voters to the polls, according to transit agency officials.

About 100,000 bus riders across Orange County found themselves stranded Thursday after maintenance workers called for a strike amid stalled labor negotiations with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).

On Sunday night, the union announced it would lift its picket lines on Monday and Tuesday so that bus riders could get to polls on election day, according to City News Service. Passengers were advised to expect some delays.


If there is no contract agreement by Wednesday, the union will probably hit the picket lines again, once again halting bus service, Eric Jimenez, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 952, told City News Service.

“We hope that there will be no further disruption in service and that we can work this out without affecting the people that count on OC Bus to get to work, school and other important destinations,” said OCTA Chairman Mark A. Murphy, also the mayor of Orange, in a statement.

The union representing about 150 mechanics, machinists and service technicians has accused OCTA of walking out of negotiations, and the transportation agency said it offered maintenance workers a contract that would provide pay raises and lower healthcare costs. The OCTA and union members talked on Saturday and Sunday, Jimenez said.

The OCTA and Teamsters have been in negotiations since May, and a strike was averted in October after Gov. Gavin Newsom reached out to both sides and urged them to continue negotiations. But negotiations over healthcare seemed to continue being a crucial point for both sides.

OCTA buses run about 50 routes across the county and serve roughly 100,000 daily passengers.

City News Service contributed to this report.