Forestville, Md. – August 2, 2018: Today, Metro announced that it is ready to set Northern Virginia bus riders and taxpayers up for failure by awarding an $89 million private contract for Metro buses at the new WMATA Cinder Bed Road bus facility in Lorton, Virginia to the France-based company TransDev.
In no uncertain terms, the members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 want Metro to be a safe, affordable and reliable transit system, and we know that privatization won’t make that happen, and we reach that conclusion based on the facts.
This new bus garage will take work away from Metro bus operators, contrary to Metro’s press statement, by moving service of nine bus lines that currently originate at the Four Mile bus garage and moving them to the new facility. Most importantly, this new contract will not save the system money without cutting essential corners of safety and reliability.
Privatization is also wreaking havoc on the many problems with the MetroAccess paratransit service, corroding WMATA’s maintenance departments, and harming janitorial and clerical work. WMATA is now expanding the failed concept by allowing TransDev to set its own standards for safety, wages, and work rules, which will not be consistent with other Metro operators and maintenance.
Metro is dealing with a historic number of challenges that require attention with fierce urgency, but privatizing the system won't address those challenges. In fact, it makes the problems worse by transferring the responsibility for public safety to a private company whose bottom line is the profit.
Local 689 is ready to do as we have with MetroAccess and D.C. Streetcar and organize those workers into the union. The union also plans to continue to seek a legal remedy to this blatant attempt to attack the union members, lower worker morale, and drive down the reliability of service for our riders in Northern Virginia.