A strike by Orange County Transit District bus drivers over absenteeism, use of part-time drivers and changes in drug testing procedures left thousands of commuters stranded this morning.
The walkout caught most of the district's 110,000 daily riders by surprise. Members of Tustin-based United Transportation Union Local 19 voted 485 to 182 at 11:35 p.m. Sunday to reject the district's final offer of a 7.5% wage increase over the next three years. Transit district supervisors were able to operate 72 coaches this morning, with reduced frequency, on 13 of the district's 53 routes. Only one of the 300 drivers scheduled to work crossed the picket line, a transit district spokeswoman said.