Third-party provider will attempt to accommodate all trips during the strike but riders are urged to expect significant delays and may want to consider alternate travel arrangements, if possible
ORANGE – OC ACCESS paratransit riders should expect significant delays and should consider making alternate travel arrangements if possible because of a drivers strike that is set to begin at approximately 4 p.m. today (Wednesday, May 3).
The strike is not expected to affect regular OC Bus service or Metrolink rail service.
OCTA contracts its OC ACCESS paratransit service to a third-party provider and that contractor, First Transit, will attempt to accommodate all trips as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) but riders are being notified they may experience significant impacts including longer wait and travel times.
For information, OC ACCESS riders are asked to contact (714) 636-7433 or visit www.octa.net/access.
It is unclear how long the paratransit strike could last. The Orange County Transportation Authority will continue to monitor the situation and inform the public of any updates.
“Paratransit riders rely on OC ACCESS to maintain their independence, reach critical medical care, adult day care, educational and employment opportunities,” said OCTA Chairman Gene Hernandez, also the mayor of Yorba Linda. “We urge the two sides to return to negotiations and bring an end to the tremendous burden our county’s most vulnerable population now face.”
First Transit, the OC ACCESS third-party paratransit operator, is currently in contract negotiations with Teamsters Local 952, the union representing approximately 250 drivers. The contract between the two parties expired at the end of 2022 and negotiations had been ongoing until the union chose to strike.
OCTA is not involved in the labor negotiations.
Like the majority of transit agencies throughout the nation, OCTA utilizes a contractor to provide paratransit service, which is complementary to regular bus service for people with disabilities and is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Riders must be pre-screened and meet eligibility requirements to qualify for the specialized paratransit service and make reservations for rides in advance. On average, about 3,500 trips per day are provided via OC ACCESS.
During the strike, Same-Day Taxi service and OC ACCESS subscription service are being temporarily suspended.
OC Flex, OCTA’s on-demand microtransit service operating in Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo and Aliso Viejo, may experience limited hours and potential delays. OC Flex passengers are urged to check the OC Flex app.