By Whitney Vickers
GREENE COUNTY — The Greene Cats Public Transit system is mostly conducting business as usual despite a recent RTA driver strike, impacting public transportation in neighboring Montgomery County.
Executive Director Ken Collier said Greene Cats includes a route that travels from Xenia to downtown Dayton, allowing riders to connect to the RTA system from the main RTA Hub, 4 South Main Street in Dayton. However, since the RTA driver strike began Monday, Jan. 9, Greene Cats must pick riders of that route up at Fourth Street between Jefferson and Main Streets instead of its normal location.
All other lines are picking up passengers at its usual points; departure times have not been impacted.
“Our services are designed to transport within Greene County and some (riders) are limited to those services,” Collier said. “We run lines from Greene County to Montgomery County, but we are not primarily designed [to serve Montgomery County].”
The amount of individuals utilizing Greene Cats at certain departure points, such as the downtown Dayton and Wright State University locations, declined as of Monday. Collier highlighted that some local students will get on a Greene Cats bus from the downtown Dayton pickup location in order to make it to classes at Wright State University, Wilberforce University and Central State University — but the local transit system has seen less students getting to class as of Monday.
“Greene County residents who normally take Greene Cats to RTA can’t because of the strike,” Collier said.
While the RTA strike has created serious implications for some Miami Valley citizens, Greene Cats riders can rest assured that they will not be experiencing a similar RTA conflict anytime soon. Collier said the drivers operate under a union and are contracted through First Transit, which was negotiated, signed and approved last year.
Our partners at WDTN reported that Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1385 members (RTA drivers) walked off the job earlier this week after the RTA was unable to reach an agreement with the union for a new contract. Representatives from both sides have been meeting with a mediator throughout the week, scheduling a negotiation for Wednesday morning.
No agreement between the union members and RTA officials had been reached as of press time Wednesday, Jan. 11.
Reach Whitney Vickers at 937-502-4532.