Workers protest county takeover of ECAT

PENSACOLA – On the eve of the Escambia Board of County Commissioners’ Oct. 3 meeting, Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT) workers today will hold a press conference to criticize an agenda item that would dissolve ECAT as a Dependent Special District and duties for which the District was created would be assumed by thee BCC.

“Commissioner Doug Underhill has no clue the impact these cuts to bus service will have on the people of our community who rely on the bus to get to work, school, and childcare every day. They will be left stranded,” says Mike Lowery, president of ATU Local 1395, representing ECAT workers. “Underhill should walk in their shoes for just one day to see the impact. Furthermore these service cuts will hurt businesses by preventing their employees from getting to work and customers coming to them.”

According to the union president, Commissioner Underhill says the County can also save money by eliminating ECAT jobs under the plan for the County to take control of the city’s transit system.

“This is a short sighted solution to a bigger problem,” Lowery continued. “We should be investing in our bus system not cutting service and jobs. A robust transit system creates good jobs, delivers customers to businesses, and helps clear the air. There is literally nothing more effective in getting an economy moving than public transit.”

WHAT: ATU Local 1395 press conference

WHEN: 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2

WHERE: Rosa Parks Transit Complex, 1515 West Fairfield Dr.