Monday, April 26, 2010

Time to unite the MTA New York Companies, Now!

For the past two months as I rode buses and subways, I've noticed the fine print between New York City Bus, MTA Bus, and Long Island Bus. Three different entities doing similar operations with their bus service. You probably can't tell them apart, if you don't look closely, surely enough, you will see the difference. You might be asking, why are MTA Bus, NYC Transit Bus, and LI Bus not united yet? Here's a sample list:

  1. Different unions, (varies by depot)
  2. MTA bus operators make slightly less money than NYC Transit's operators.
  3. MTA Bus depots, the operators have different salaries.
  4. The route program doesn't allow one bus to switch displays between MTA Bus and NYC Transit and LI Bus.
So it seems that bus prospects are better off working for NYC Transit's bus because they have the highest pay (about $22 per hour) MTA New York really needs to wake up and negotiate contracts to help out MTA Bus and give them a fair share of the pie. It's not fair that they're earning as much as $9 less than what NYC Transit's making. Since the inception of MTA Bus Company in 2004, they have taken over these following bus companies.

  1. Liberty Lines (Yonkers Depot)
  2. New York Bus Service (Eastchester Depot)
  3. Command Bus (Spring Creek Depot)
  4. Green Bus Lines (Far Rockaway and JFK Depots)
  5. Jamaica Buses (Baisley Park Depot)
  6. Triboro Coach (LaGuardia Depot)
  7. Queens Surface Corporation (College Point Depot)
Each of these depots still has old contracts from their now defunct private operators. MTA New York has yet to set a new contract for these bus operators working with these depots. They need it right now.

NYC Transit buses are affiliated with Transit Workers Union Local 100. These following depots are: (1-6 from Brooklyn, 7-10 in Manhattan, 11-14 in Bronx)
  1. Ulmer Park (Bensonhurst)
  2. East New York
  3. Flatbush (in Flatlands)
  4. Jackie Gleason (Sunset Park)
  5. Fresh Pond (actually located in Queens)
  6. Grand Avenue (Maspeth,Queens)
  7. Michael J Quill
  8. 126 Street Depot
  9. 100 Street Depot
  10. Manhattanville
  11. West Farms
  12. Gun Hill
  13. Amsterdam
  14. Kingsbridge
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 726 of Staten Island holds these depots

  1. Yukon (New Springville)
  2. Castleton (Port Richmond)
Queens has another union, which I'm not sure off but I believe it's the TWU too.

  1. Queens Village
  2. Casey Stengel (Flushing)
  3. Jamaica
All of the NYC Transit Subways are under TWU Local 100. All of the yards are under here too.

  1. Uniport Yard
  2. 238 Street Yard
  3. 240 Street Yard
  4. Concourse Yard
  5. Westchester Yard
  6. 207 Street Yard
  7. Lenox Avenue Yard
  8. Jamaica
  9. East New York
  10. Livonia Avenue
  11. Fresh Pond
  12. Canarsie
  13. Coney Island
  14. 36 Street
There are probably more yards out there that I didn't mention.

Let's get to the point:

These bus operators, and train crews do almost the same role, operate buses and subways and other rail lines. These companies, depots and yards are under different unions and contracts which means different benefits and different pay. Not all bus operators are being paid their fare share and that needs to change right now. we need to find a way ti unite all of these companies rail and bus and put them under one union where everyone gets a fair share of the pie in terms of their earnings.

I hope that MTA New York can find a way to unite all of these companies for real.

Here is what I am hoping will be the result of this unity:
  1. MTA Bus Company operators can easily switch between the current NYCTA and MTABC depots easily and vice versa. They currently have long processes to do so, but with this unity it'll be quick and easy.
  2. MTA Bus Company operators can sign up for promotion to rapid transit train operator if they wish. Currently only New York City Transit bus operators are only offered this promotion and not MTABC.
  3. All MTA New York Bus Companies can have all of their buses under quality control. Only the newest fleet of MTA Bus, all NYCT and LI Buses are under Quality Control. Some MTA Bus Companies' buses are not under quality control.
  4. All bus/subway operators earn the same salary regardless of their depot/yard they are assigned to providing that a big union or all the small unions follow salary guidelines.
I had some bus operators from MTA Bus Company say that they almost the same type of roles as that of New York City Transit Authority's bus operators. I do agree, there's hardly anything different between the roles that these two companies play in moving commuters, let along the fine print on the bus labels. If MTA New York is to unite the bus entities, then they might make serious attempts to unite MTA Bus Company and NYCTA buses as well as the LI bus into one entity so that everyone has a fair share of the salary pie. I hope that if I decide to become a bus operator or train operator, then these entities are united.

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