Columbia, SC 11/16/2022 (Paul Kirby) – On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (The COMET) was notified by its operations contractor, RATP Dev USA, that the drivers of its DART paratransit service did not report for work today due to a labor contract dispute. The DART paratransit service is the public transit provider for clients in need in Richland and Lexington Counties.
“Passengers affected by the pause in service were contacted immediately so that other accommodations could be made as the parties involved work through the situation to come to an amenable resolution,” according to LeRoy DesChamps, Chief Operating Officer of The COMET.
The COMET’s DART paratransit is operated by Transport Care Services (TCS). TCS is a subcontractor of RATP Dev and by law, neither The COMET’s management team nor administrative team are not allowed to interact with the drivers regarding labor issues. Because the labor negotiations can only be handled by RATP Dev, The COMET’s team can only urge the parties to quickly come to an agreement. According to The COMET’s statement, from this point forward, all they can do is encourage both negotiating parties to resolve their concerns for the benefit of the passengers and the communities they serve.
“We expect and need the parties to come together for the sake of the valued population we serve on DART paratransit and prioritize the negotiations so that service may be fully restored quickly,” added Chief Operating Officer DesChamps.
Here are some quick bullet points and ways that the user of The DART can check on service status and updates:
WHO: DART (DIAL-A-RIDE-TRANSIT) drivers
WHAT: Service Delivery Pause
WHEN: As of 5:30 a.m. November 16, 2022
WHERE: Richland and Lexington Counties
WHY: Contractor Negotiations
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT RATP DEV’S REPRESENTATIVE, DAVID BARKOE AT DAVID@CARVECOMMUNICATIONS.COM