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Westchester Bus Riders Happy About New Contract

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Local residents that use the Bee-Line bus system were happy to hear that Liberty Lines Transit, Inc. and the Transit Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 had agreed to a tentative four-year contract on Thursday.

Rochelle Williams relies on the bus to get to and from work at a Bronx hospital.

“We need the buses,” said Williams, a New Rochelle resident that was waiting at the New Rochelle Amtrak Station to get on the bus. “I’m glad they didn’t go on strike.”

Williams stressed that many passengers use the bus every day and “need these buses” in order to travel to work or to doctor’s appointments.

“So, I’m glad they didn’t go out (of service),” Williams said.

Camille Soomaroo lives in Bridgeport, Conn., but she is a nanny in New Rochelle and depends on the bus three days a week to get her to work.

“I’m happy they didn’t go on strike,” Soomaroo said. She also praised the service because “they’re always on time and courteous.”

Before she left the New Rochelle Amtrak station, Soomaroo said that she had “no complaints,” and had “been taking it for years.”

The deal will become official once it is ratified by the union.

Details of the agreement state that bus drivers and mechanics will receive salary increases of 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent during the first two years of their contract and then 3 percent for each of the final two years, according to the county.

In order to counterbalance those costs, “employees will increase their health care contributions from the current 3.5 percent on a sliding scale over the four years of the contract,” the county government website said. In addition, “management and labor will both increase their weekly contributions to the company’s pension plan,” according to the website.

Liberty Lines President Jerry D’Amore said in a press release that the “agreement is a result of concessions on the part of both management and employees. We are very pleased that we have come to terms without a strike and any inconvenience to our loyal passengers.”

The Bee-Line bus service employs 572 drivers and mechanics, according to the TWU website . Liberty Lines is a private firm contracted by the county to provide transportation services.

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