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PHOENIX -- About 40 bus routes in the southeast Valley could be affected Monday if a bus driver strike is not averted over the weekend.

"We understand that this strike is an inconvenience for a lot of passengers so we definitely do not want to see a strike occur or any kind of a work stoppage," said Susan Tierney with Valley Metro.

Tierney said about 57,000 passengers could be affected should a strike or work stoppage take place, but Valley Metro is "hopeful" that it can be avoided.

"Valley Metro remains very hopeful that there will be an agreement on the labor negotiations that are currently happening between First Transit and the bus operator union," she said.

Tierney said those who may be affected should look into alternative transportation as a backup plan.

"We are asking our passengers to double-check and make sure that their bus route might be impacted," she said. "If it is impacted, they need to start to begin plan or prepare alternative travel options."

As far as those other options go, Tierney said affected passengers should talk to their employers, consult with friends, right light rail or go to ValleyMetro.org to sign up for a car pool.

The possibly affected routes run through Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix.

A bus strike in 2012 left thousands of Phoenix metro area passengers stranded for six days.

Martha Maurer, News Editor

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