LTD and ATU Agree to Amended Contract
Eugene, Ore.---(Sept. 30, 2020)--- Lane Transit District’s (LTD) Board of Directors approved an agreement with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 (ATU) regarding the change in working conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agreement was approved at LTD’s Sept. 22 Board of Directors meeting.
The new agreement covers LTD’s bus operators, mechanics, customer service representatives, public safety and a station worker.
“LTD employees are some of the region’s bravest everyday heroes as they operate and maintain buses, and keep our buses and facilities clean so our passengers can make their essential trips during the pandemic,” said Aurora Jackson, LTD’s general manager. “We worked closely with ATU President Shirley Block and local ATU Executive Officer Bill Bradley to create an agreement that reflects our employees’ dedication to the community.”
“ATU appreciates the effort LTD has made to recognize the hard work by our members in response to COVID-19 and we look forward to continuing to build our partnership to meet the needs of our community now and in the future,” said Bill Bradley, ATU 757’s local Executive Officer.
The LTD Board of Directors also took action at the Sept. 16 meeting to approve a COVID-19 policy and to reinstate the LTD Connector service in Cottage Grove.
COVID-19 Related Changes
By approving the COVID-19 plan, the Board supports the District’s leadership to implement changes focused on the health and well-being of the District’s employees and overall fiscal health of the agency to serve the community, including the following:
1. Increasing transit services to an operationally and financially sustainable level for the remainder of FY2021.
2. Hiring front-line and support personnel needed to sustain an operationally and financially sustainable level of service.
3. Investing in capital projects that directly reduce LTD’s operating costs and provide for long-term financial sustainability such all-electric vehicles, technology and support equipment.
4. Pursuing competitive revenue through state and federal programs.
LTD Connector in Cottage Grove Reinstatement
The LTD Board of Directors also approved an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Cottage Grove to continue funding the LTD Connector mobility-on-demand transit pilot program.
“Since the LTD Connector in Cottage Grove was launched in early 2019, due to COVID-19 we have not been able to gather the necessary ridership data to accurately inform us about the long-term viability of the pilot program,” said Caitlin Vargas, Vice President of the LTD Board of Directors. “The LTD Board of Directors believes it is the best interest of Cottage Grove and the District to continue the Connector until we have the information necessary to determine the next step for the service.”
LTD, in partnership with the City of Cottage Grove and South Lane Wheels, resumed modified operation of the LTD Connector on Aug. 17, 2020, after suspending the service on March 16, 2020 as a precaution to reduce the potential for COVID-19 exposure for bus operators and passengers.
Cottage Grove passengers can book trips on the Connector anywhere within the city by using a mobile app, the website or with a phone call (541-942-0456, ext 1). Passengers can schedule their pick-up and drop-off times and locations for the cost of $1 per ride. The Cottage Grove Connector operates Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Vehicles are limited to four passengers. Hands-free nose and mouth coverings are required.
The Cottage Grove Connector pilot program is funded by LTD through a grant from the Statewide Transportation Infrastructure Fund (STIF).
For more information about the Cottage Grove Connector, including how to download the mobile app and book a trip using the website, go to: https://www.ltd.org/system-map/route_MOD/.