Capital Area Transit, union blame each other after bus never shows up

HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – A Capital Area Transit bus never showed up at a stop and stranded dozens of people Monday in Hershey. Now, CAT and the union for some workers are blaming each other for the mishap.

Hershey is the sweetest place on earth unless you were waiting for a CAT bus earlier this week.

“He said, ‘Mom, I didn’t get on my bus. I’m still waiting’,” Juatasha Bellamy said.

Bellamy’s teenage son was one of around 30 people who was stuck for hours trying to get a ride home. Most of them work at Hersheypark.

“With more form of contact, with no nothing, that was just disrespectful,” Bellamy said. “They should alert managers of Hersheypark or somebody and let them know that the bus wasn’t coming for people’s kids.”

Capital Area Transit Director of Public Information & Customer Experience Robert J. Philbin sent ABC27 News the following statement:

“I looked into the situation and found that there were no available drivers to work a number of runs last evening, including the one serving Hersheypark. This was a result of some drivers supporting the union’s actions against CAT. Once CAT was aware of the shortage, it did its best to cover service gaps to minimize the inconvenience to our customers. I apologize for the inconvenience caused to our valued riders and their families.”

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1436 President John Keller pointed the finger at CAT.

“What they are doing is they’re refusing to work overtime, and the reason they’re refusing to work overtime is because every summer, CAT takes on an excessive amount of work to supply Hersheypark,” Keller said. “CAT does not have enough operators to cover this work, so they put themselves in a precarious situation that if the driver’s do not work themselves to death by doing this overtime, the work will not get on the street.

“They need to stop blaming each other and fix the problem,” Bellamy said.

The mom of two is willing to take matters into her own hands if that doesn’t happen.

“I’m hoping they can fix the situation. If they don’t fix the situation, I would change my schedule to make sure my son gets home every day,” she said.

Bellamy says her son had to wait at the bus stop for three-and-a-half hours.

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