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BRTA Strike Ends; Regular Bus Service Resumes Wednesday

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — BRTA buses should be back on schedule Wednesday, Dec. 19, bringing an end to the strike that has paralyzed much of the county's public transportation system for the past two weeks. 
 
The latest offer presented to the federal mediator on Tuesday was voted on by the paratransit union membership at a meeting and was approved.  
 
The Berkshire Regional Transit Authority sent out an alert early Tuesday afternoon reporting it had received notification that the union representing the paratransit drivers had accepted the latest offer. Regular paratransit services will resume Thursday, Dec. 20.
 
Fixed route service had been severely curtailed since the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 404 rejected a contract offer from Paratransit Management of the Berkshires on Dec. 3. In addition to the nearly 20 Local 404 paratransit drivers striking, the fixed-route drivers mounted a work stoppage so as not to cross the picket line. 
 
The paratransit drivers have been at odds with BRTA for nearly year and there were indications that a strike might occur earlier this fall. The fixed-route drivers currently have a three-year contract. 
 
The work stoppage has played havoc with people's schedules over the past weeks, making it harder to get to work, school and appointments. Transit officials tried keep some semblance of limited access on routes going up and down the county and chair-companies were hired to provide restricted paratransit service.
 
The latest offer presented to the federal mediator on Tuesday was voted on by the paratransit union membership at a meeting and was approved.  
 
The BRTA has an annual ridership of more than 600,000, with close to 80,000 of those through the paratransit service that supplements the fixed bus service for those with impaired mobility.
 

 


Tags: BRTA,   paratransit,   public transportation,   strike,   union contract,   

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'Haunted Streets' To Air On PCTV

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield Community Television has teamed up with the city's Recreation Program for a television event to air in place of the canceled 2020 Pittsfield Halloween Parade. 
 
"Once it became clear that the Halloween Parade could not happen in its usual form, we realized we needed to do something to keep this annual tradition alive in some fashion as it brings much joy to the community," Becky Manship, recreation and special events coordinator for the city of Pittsfield said.  "Since PCTV has been covering the parade for twenty-five years, the decision to do a retrospective of past parades was simple.  We hope the community will enjoy a look back in time as we have." 
 
PCTV will present "Haunted Streets: A Celebration of 25 Years of Halloween Parades" in place of when live coverage of the parade as it stepped off on Tyler St would have begun.  The program will look back at some of the best floats and moments of the past 25 years of PCTV's parade coverage.  
 
The television event is hosted by Manship and PCTV's parade commentator Jody Spielmann and will debut on Friday, Oct. 30 at 7:00 p.m. airing on PCTV Access Pittsfield Channel 1301, and also on the PCTV Select App available on Roku, Apple TV, and on the web at PittsfieldTV.org.
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