EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Commercial bus drivers went on a six-hour strike and blocked off several streets in Juarez on Monday, including some access roads to two ports of entry in El Paso.
The drivers are upset about a new mandate from the state of Chihuahua for private contractors to re-bid on public transportation service routes. They also want more information regarding who’s going to operate new double-jointed buses on some of the city’s principal avenues.
The bus drivers briefly impeded traffic to the Paso del Norte International Bridge on Monday morning and later to the Bridge of the Americas; Juarez police rerouted traffic to BOTA and encouraged motorists to use the Zaragoza Bridge at the Ysleta Port of Entry to the United States while the protests were ongoing.
Hundreds of bus riders on their way to work also were affected by the suspension of service.
The drivers gathered outside the state government offices at the Pueblito Mexicano building and were demanding a meeting with a representative of Gov. Javier Corral. They say many of them will go out of business if the state of Chihuahua goes through with the changes.
State officials met with the bus drivers and urged them not to strike. The two sides agreed to meet again on Tuesday and the bus drivers resumed service around 11 a.m. Monday.