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MARTA Paratransit Drivers Take One-Day Strike Because Of Safety Concerns

Some MARTA paratransit drivers are on a one-day strike Wednesday. Their union says two-thirds of them took the day off.
Some MARTA paratransit drivers are on a one-day strike Wednesday. Their union says two-thirds of them took the day off.
Credit BRENNA BEECH / WABE
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Cheri Mitchell is a frequent passenger of MARTA’s paratransit services, which transports people who can’t ride regular buses. She said she’d scheduled a pick up to get to work Wednesday morning.

“I had a 6:50 pick up but it says it wasn’t gonna pick me up until after 8 o’clock,” Mitchell said. “And I was like, what’s going on?”

Some MARTA paratransit drivers are on a one-day strike Wednesday. Their union says two-thirds of them took the day off.

Stanley Smalls, who is on the Amalgamated Transit Union’s executive board, said the strike is to bring attention to safety issues.

“We have buses out here that blow fumes back in the bus that’s conducive operating a gas chamber,” Smalls said.

MARTA issued a statement. It didn’t address the bus fumes specifically but says the agency’s “committed to providing safe, reliable transportation.”

MV Transportation is the private company MARTA hired two years ago to manage paratransit services. It said less than a third of the drivers are actually striking today.

Company officials also said they started re-scheduling trips last night and called in non-union drivers to help.

The union says the drivers are planning to return to work tomorrow.