GET bus strike is impacting many people including several students attending summer school


The GET Bus strike has not affected enrollment over all, but educators say it has impacted student success.

Dania Montoya is working hard on catching up with her summer course in English.

“It makes me really mad because I don't know how I’m going to get there. It's pretty far," she said.

Montoya lives in East Bakersfield, but is taking summer courses on the other side of town, at CSUB.  Since GET bus workers went on strike, it's been a struggle just getting to class.

“I don't like asking people for rides because that's a burden, that's hard on them because they have to use their gas or their mileage," said Montoya.

At Bakersfield College, students have been encouraged to find alternative transportation and even talking with professors about making up any missed assignments.

"This strike is difficult for anyone who relies on public transportation. I think more so for students who are going to classes. At Bakersfield College, the summer schedule it is so compress that missing one of two classes can put a student significantly behind," said Amber Chiang, spokesperson for Bakersfield College.

As the GET bus strike drags into its second week, the union says negotiations are back to square one.  The union offered to reduce the pay increase portion of the contract to three percent, but the GET board rejected that offer.

"It's an outrage that people like me, and of course there are other people out there, that are struggling. The bus drivers don't know how much of an impact it is without being transported to different places without the bus," said Montoya.

Steven Harts makes his way every day from the Mission at Kern County to work and doesn't have the option of missing one day.

“I don't have transportation to get to work, luckily I have a friend that takes me to work so that helps but if I didn't catch the bus, it'd be a problem for me," he said.

Sitting at the usual bus stop, he's thinking what everyone else is wondering...

"When is it going to end?  I’m wondering how long it is going to be and going to take.  Hopefully its short, and not too long," he said.

No further talks between the two sides are scheduled.

In the meantime, the last day of summer school here at BC takes place August 7th.  Fall classes start back up on August 24th.

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