|TWU 100 & ATU 726 on X17 Weekend Brooklyn Bus Stop (267042)|
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TWU 100 & ATU 726 on X17 Weekend Brooklyn Bus Stop
Posted by Gold_12TH on Thu Sep 20 21:47:38 2012TWU bus-ted for depriving riders
A petty union turf war almost halted the MTA from bringing a much-needed bus stop to riders in Brooklyn, The Post has learned.
Transport Workers Union Local 100 threw a hissy fit when the agency announced plans to have a Staten Island express bus pick up riders in Bay Ridge on weekends — because those buses would be driven by another union.
So TWU bosses filed an official grievance in July — beginning a two-month arbitration process to determine if Amalgamated Transit Union Local 726 bus drivers were allowed to pick up riders.
Finally, last week, independent arbitrator Richard Adelman sided with the MTA and green-lighted the bus stop; the new service will begin on Sept. 30.
“I’m delighted!” said Ian Charles Scott, 54, an art professor who often goes into Manhattan on weekends to do research or take students to exhibitions.
“We have to get the subway, which is very long on the weekends. You can add 20 to 40 minutes for the subway ride.”
In the arbitration, the MTA claimed that adding a stop on Staten Island’s X17 at Dahlgren Place and 86th Street would be an inexpensive way of expanding service in a neighborhood with paltry transit options.
Bay Ridge hasn’t had a weekend express bus to and from Manhattan ever since the agency’s budget cuts killed service two years ago — and the only subway service is the slow, local R train.
Under the MTA’s plan, the X17 would make a quick pit stop off the Gowanus Expressway en route to and from the Huguenot section of Staten Island.
But the TWU claimed that, according to its contract, it had the sole right to pick up passengers on express buses in Brooklyn, while the ATU was allowed only on Staten Island.
The TWU asked the MTA to either start weekend service on X28 or extend the X27 — both operated by TWU drivers.
Even ATU Local 726 sided with the TWU and asked the MTA not to re-route the X17.
When the MTA refused — citing higher costs — infuriated union officials filed the grievance.
Labor leaders also argued that adding a stop in Brooklyn would unfairly burden Staten Island riders by adding time to one of the longest express-bus rides in the system.
“In our view, it didn’t make sense at all,” said Willy Rivera, a TWU division chair.
But bartender Justin Perkins, 30, said the union got it wrong.
“I’m a union worker so I support unions 100 percent. But it [bringing in X17] makes sense,” said Perkins, who said it will save him more than an hour on the weekends.
“It’s going through this area anyway,” he said.