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Metro Transit Riders Experience Delays, Union Denies Work Stoppage

The 70 Grand bus stops near St. Louis University in December 2018.
File Photo | Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio
MetroBus lines across the region dealt with delays Monday as a high number of bus drivers called in and did not work.

Riders who use Metro Transit experienced delays Monday morning. 

In a statement, Metro said "an unusually high number of MetroBus operators" were not on the job Monday and others did not accept additional duties. The organization said it has all available qualified employees driving buses, but that still isn't enough to cover the absences, resulting in delays.

MetroLink trains ran limited service also, as the Blue Line only operated between Shrewsbury and Forest Park. The line usually runs from Shrewsbury in St. Louis County to Fairview Heights in the Metro East.

Ben Byaz rode the southbound 70 Grand Monday morning and said the delays almost made him late for a court date. He said the trip would usually take 30 minutes, but today it took him an hour and a half.

"It's definitely bad for the city," Byaz said. "People are not going to get to work, and it's going to affect a lot of things that people really don't realize."

Byaz said tourists and other out-of-town visitors would have trouble getting around the region if service is delayed or shut down.

In addition to the delays on MetroBus and limited MetroLink service, tonight's Redbird Express bus service from Fairview Heights to Busch Stadium for the Cardinals game is canceled.

"Due to today’s MetroBus driver shortage, the Redbird Express will not be in service for tonight’s game," Bi-State Development said in a statement. "MetroLink is an option for baseball fans headed to Busch Stadium."

Metro is currently in negotiations with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788, which represents its workers. On Twitter, in response to another tweet, the union said employees were not on a work stoppage.

Screenshot of a tweet from Amalgamated Transit Union 788 saying the union is not on a work stoppage. Aug. 19, 2019

Metro extended the hours of its passenger information phone and text lines Monday in response to the delays.

Follow Nicolas on Twitter: @NDTelep

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