Metro is saving money during Northern Virginia bus strike

Six weeks into a Metrobus strike at a privatized garage in Northern Virginia, Metro now says it has been paying its contractor only for the reduced service that is actually running.

Earlier this week, Transdev regional Vice President John King had declined to detail what the company was being paid. Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld had also previously declined to explain what payments were being made, or whether there were any penalties against the company during the strike.

Now, Metro tells WTOP that Transdev is paid only for the level of service that they provide.

That means they are only being paid for the limited weekend-level service that has been running on only three bus lines. More than a dozen other lines run out of the Cinder Bed Road garage in Lorton, Virginia, have been canceled.

Fairfax Connector tracker down

With a separate strike underway that began Thursday morning against Fairfax Connector, which Transdev operates for Fairfax County, riders cannot even use real-time data to figure out when a bus will arrive.

The county’s BusTracker system is based on regular schedules, so the cut to below Sunday service on a weekday has thrown the system off.

Though the service had initially aimed to run Sunday service on Thursday, it could not get enough drivers.

Routes that are running Friday on a Sunday schedule are: 151, 171, 310, 321, 322, 401, 402, 630, 640, 650, 950, 981, 983, RIBS 1 and RIBS 3.

All other Fairfax Connector routes are canceled until further notice.

Negotiations are continuing Thursday between the union and Transdev on both contracts.

Alternatives

With many of the canceled or reduced routes serving schools and colleges, Metro stations or major workplaces, such as the Pentagon, riders may be looking for other options, since driving may not be an available choice.

Depending on where you are going to and from and what time of day you are traveling, VRE, Metrorail and the Metrobus routes could be options.

Going slightly outside of Fairfax County could also help. The City of Fairfax’s CUE bus, Arlington’s ART bus, Alexandria’s DASH Bus and PRTC OmniRide or Loudoun County commuter buses may be alternatives.

Carpooling, slugging or biking may also be options.

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