April 18, 2014

Rutgers’ bus ops were smart, now SMART

Bus operators for Rutgers University’s inter-campus bus and shuttle system seeking union representation overwhelmingly chose the SMART Transportation Division Dec. 9 as their collective bargaining representative.

Among 112 eligible voters, 74 of the 80 operators participating in the union election chose SMART as their representative, while six voted for no union.

The bus service is managed by First Transit, Inc., based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

SMART TD Director of Organizing Rich Ross lauded the efforts of organizer and Alternate Bus Vice President Calvin Studivant saying, “Calvin just did an outstanding job. We had a meeting at Rutgers a couple of weeks ago and approximately 90 drivers attended. Calvin was well received during the meeting and was recognized for his efforts and for his knowledge of the bus industry.”

Studivant has more than 25 years of experience as a bus operator for Community Transportation in Clifton, N.J.

Ross also noted the efforts of Local President Waverly Harris and Vice Local President Brian Caldwell in assisting with the organizing campaign and helping drivers realize the benefits of union representation. Both are members of SMART TD Local 1594 at Upper Darby, Pa., employed by a division of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

The Rutgers-New Brunswick/Piscataway inter-campus bus and shuttle system provides efficient and reliable transportation service for all five campuses. It is available to all members of the university community and the public.

According to First Transit’s website, the service is the second largest operating bus system in New Jersey, transporting more than 6 million passengers annually and providing more than 70,000 passenger trips per day. It operates approximately 50 transit buses that utilize bio-diesel fuel and Green Roads technology in an effort to reduce emissions and petroleum consumption.