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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Valley Ride-union spat bodes ill for service

Boise Weekly's Nathaniel Hoffman has this update on the Valley Ride-bus union dispute over a one-mile stretch of the No. 42 Overland route. The mile in question - between Maple Grove and Five Mile - serves the Social Security office and used to be part of a route handed by union drivers, but it's now subcontracted to a private, non-union company based in Nampa. A federal arbitrator sided with the union drivers, but Valley Ride seems to be balking, despite comments at two public hearings which heavily favored keeping the route open.

Update, July 7: Valley Ride has decided to delay a decision on this matter until August.


Anonymous said...

Just to clarify. (1)The 42 doesn't serve the Social Security office any better than the 29 Overland route does. The closest that it comes is Maple Grove and Hackamore. You still have quite a ways to walk to get to the office.
(2) The only reason that the Union is "balking" is that this "solution" proposed by the ValleyRide Management doesn't return the lost piece of work to the Union as mandated by a federal arbitrator. It simply takes away the route from everyone. That "solution" does nothing for anybody. The Union does not get its route back, and, more importantly, the riders lose a stretch of route that was popular. Trust me when I say that this was NOT what the Union was going for. They do NOT support this "solution" in any way, shape or form.
Something else to consider here: in the last 10 years the Boise division (it was still known as The Bus back then) has lost 7 routes (19 BSU Shuttle, 21 Boise Ave., 23 Skycliffe Tripper and Express, 24 Garden City, 25 Five Mile, 26 Southwest Boise, & 33 Federal Way). They have also lost the now defunct River Festival, The Great Potato Race and the Western Idaho Fair shuttles. That's a lot of lost work for the Boise Division.
So you see, it's not the Union that everyone should be yelling at or blaming, it's the Management who went along with this idea in the first place.

Julie Fanselow said...

Thanks very much for this added info and perspective.

I think it's clear that the union doesn't support this "solution," and that it behooves Valley Ride - in this time of high gas prices and increased interest in transit - to first do what it needs to do to serve all parts of this route and second, eventually add and/or reroute service so people have no more than a two-block walk to Social Security.

It's absurd that the buses don't pass right by an office that's so essential to large portions of its ridership.