Arlington Transit bus riders should prepare for delays this afternoon and watch for regular alerts, said Arlington County transportation officials.
About 23 ART bus drivers did not show up for work today in protest of Forsythe Transportation, the company the county contracts with for its 13 bus routes. The protest caused major delays during the morning commute.
The county has 80 bus drivers on their roster, said Dennis Leach, the county’s transportation director.
“The dispute is a personnel matter that is between Forsythe and their employees,” Leach said.
Forsythe, which runs several transit services throughout the country, referred all comments to the county.
Most morning routes did have service, but many were delayed because of the drivers’ action. Route 61B had no service, said Stephen Del Giudice, the county’s transit chief. The mid-day service is running “very close to normal,” he said.
This afternoon, ART riders on the 41, 42 and 87 routes should expect delays, he said.
The county is using all licensed personnel, including management, to get buses on the road, keeping the customer’s safety in mind, Del Giudice said.
Forsythe is “required under the contract to provide full service and we will continue to work with them to resolve this,” Del Giudice said. “The contract does have penalty provisions for a number of different things. I say we are going to reserve judgement on that at this point.”
The county is working with its contractor to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible, Leach said.
“We are monitoring the situation regularly throughout the day,” said Leach, who could not say how long the delays will last. “We are hopeful this will be resolved today, but we can’t give you a conclusive answer.”
About 9,000 people ride ART buses every day.