The Milwaukee County Transit System is offering free rides today as part of its effort to make up for an employee work stoppage last week.
MCTS will also be repaying passengers with weekly and monthly bus passes for the three days they were unable to ride the bus.
“(Monday)’s day of free transit won’t make up for the massive inconvenience riders felt last week when union leaders went out on strike; however, it’s the least we can do to thank the community for their patience,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “I want to thank all the employees at MCTS who stayed on the job the past few days to make sure service would be ready as soon as this strike ended.”
The transit system’s workers, represented by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998, began a “work stoppage” at 3 a.m. on June 1 and resumed service at 3 a.m. on July 4. The shutdown came after the County and workers could not come to an agreement on a new union contract.
The work stoppage stranded thousands of riders who use the bus to get to work, including at Summerfest. The festival added 1,000 parking spaces during the MCTS shutdown to make room for additional drivers.
The union took issue with Milwaukee County’s use of retirees as part-time operators.
MCTS has 65 routes that carry about 140,000 riders per day, and that number balloons by tens of thousands during Summerfest, which ran through July 5.