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Mechanics, bus drivers agree to return to work in Pomona area

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Bus drivers and mechanics who work for Foothill Transit have agreed to return to work, following a short labor strike.

The agreement came after a manic Monday morning, when an estimated 12,000 commuters from the Pomona and East San Gabriel valleys were left without a ride.

A union representing 50 mechanics from Foothill Transit's Pomona operations hub initiated the strike early Monday morning after they failed to reach an agreement with their contractor, Keolis. Bus drivers at that hub honored the picket line. 

"The Pomona facility currently operates 19 lines, of which a good portion are commuter express services that serve Downtown Los Angeles," said Felicia Friesema, spokeswoman for Foothill Transit.

Among the stranded riders was a group at the Montclair station on the western edge of San Bernardino county.

"Not one person knew what was going on," said Jennifer Foster, who said she arrived to the station at 4 a.m. Foster said some people had been waiting for a bus since 3 a.m.  "So when I told them [about the strike], some of them were like, 'What am I going to do?'" she said.

Foster's boyfriend missed a day of work. Others scrambled to get on a Metro train.

Friesema said other riders were aware of the strike. Foothill Transit sends alert messages via email and text to riders who have signed up for them. Some representatives from the agency went to stations to inform riders in person about the service stoppage.

Meantime, the mechanics union and Keolis reached an agreement for the mechanics to return to work while the two parties continue bargaining. 

Transit service will return to some lines Monday afternoon. Full service is expected by Tuesday morning, Friesema said.

Updates about the service lines are available at the Foothill Transit website.

Check back for updates to this story.