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CCTA buses back on the roads - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

CCTA buses back on the roads

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

There are four words thousands have been waiting weeks to hear: the strike is over.

"I'm so excited! I don't have to get rides anymore," said Janelle Blake, who rides the bus.

The Chittenden County Transportation Authority buses are back up and running Friday after a tumultuous battle between drivers and management which raged on for 16 days. For people who ride the buses every day, this day could not have come soon enough.

"Well, it's actually pretty nice to be able to get on the bus. I mean for the past three weeks I've been relying on my managers to pick me up and bring me home from work," said Jeffrey Bevins, who rides the bus.

Drivers and management were fighting over split-shift lengths, disciplinary policies, the use of part-time drivers and wages. Here is how those issues were resolved Thursday afternoon:

Drivers will work 12.5-hour split shifts, get a 2 percent annual wage increase, and CCTA will use 15 part-time drivers and the use of anonymous complaints will be allowed.

After the first strike in CCTA's 40-year history, drivers and riders are relieved the big blue buses will once again be flooding the streets of Chittenden County.

"It was nice to finally get on the bus and go to work and not depend on my daughter-in-law and my co-workers to bring me back and forth to work," said Barb Larrabee, who rides the bus.

CCTA is giving free rides for the week, a small gesture to help those who had to incur extra costs due to the strike.

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