Bus drivers begin strike in some Phoenix suburbs

PHOENIX (AP) — Hundreds of bus drivers are on strike in the Phoenix area, shutting down service that serves some 57,000 riders daily within several suburbs and on routes to other cities.

The Valley Metropolitan regional Transit Authority says the strike that began early Thursday affects service in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe, as well as express routes from those cities to Phoenix and Scottsdale.

The strike doesn’t affect bus service in Phoenix and other suburbs or Valley Metro’s light train system.

The strike is a result of a labor dispute between the Amalgamated Transit Union and First Transit, a company that operates part of Valley Metro’s system.

The union says drivers overwhelmingly rejected a proposed agreement.

The routes shut down by the strike represent approximately 40 percent of Valley Metro’s route system.

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