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SAN GABRIEL VALLEY DIGEST

San Gabriel Valley : RTD Seeks Ruling Change

August 03, 1989

Two RTD unions have asked a judge to reconsider a ruling that allowed the Foothill Transit Zone to expand bus service in the San Gabriel Valley.

Superior Court Judge Eli Chernow has postponed the effective date of his July decision from this week to Aug. 11, but will probably make his final decision by Friday, said William P. Forsythe, Foothill Transit's executive director.

Last month, Chernow ruled that Foothill Transit, a joint operation of 20 area cities and the county, was legal. Unions representing 7,000 Southern California Rapid Transit District drivers and mechanics challenged the transit zone's creation, arguing that it threatened union jobs and was an illegal breakup of the RTD.

Foothill was approved by the county Transportation Commission, which oversees county transportation policy, in late 1987 as a low-cost alternative to the RTD. Since December, Foothill has operated two express routes from Diamond Bar and Glendora to downtown Los Angeles at lower fares than the RTD had charged.

Noting that the precedent-setting case had political overtones and presented novel questions of jurisdiction, Chernow originally stayed his decision for two weeks to allow for an appeal.

Foothill hopes to take over up to 20 of the RTD's San Gabriel Valley lines by mid-1990, and was expected to enlarge its service by adding five local lines at the end of August.

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