Raising Safety Concerns, Nashville Bus Drivers And Maintenance Staff Plan Rush-Hour Protest | Nashville Public Radio

Raising Safety Concerns, Nashville Bus Drivers And Maintenance Staff Plan Rush-Hour Protest

Jan 11, 2018

Nashville’s city bus drivers and fleet mechanics are raising concerns about maintenance problems and workplace safety, and they are likely to stage a protest one day next week at the peak of rush hour.

Patrick Green, president of the local Amalgamated Transit Union 1235, said the members were issuing a vote of “no confidence” on Thursday regarding two top leaders of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s maintenance department.

He says the department is understaffed by more than a dozen employees — and inadequately trained.

“We suffer from numerous breakdowns here in our system, which in turn causes our passengers to be delayed,” Green said. “We believe this is something that has gone on for far too long.”

He said accountability is needed before the city potentially invests in a more ambitious system. The group has also been in discussions about the safety of its drivers, including after a shooting on board a bus in November.

An MTA spokeswoman said the agency is in regular contact with ATU Local 1235, has been notified, and is open to suggestions — but also defended recent strides being made on service calls.

“This is the first time MTA has been notified of such an escalated concern,” Amanda Clelland said in an email.

A union demonstration is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, but the transit agency says that even if the protest happens, there should be no impact on bus service.