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PHOENIX -- Bus riders in the East Valley could soon be left without a ride Thursday if talks between Valley Metro and a bus drivers' union fail.

The labor discussions have been on-going since the beginning of the year, but were placed on a temporary hold earlier in July to avoid a strike.

"That's winding down now," said Susan Tierny with Valley Metro. "They will be taking a vote and they will be determining whether or not to strike. That strike could take effect as early as Aug. 1."

Tierny said residents in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe and some parts of Phoenix and Scottsdale should prepare in the event bus service grinds to a halt.

"Try to get rides from family members, friends, ask your boss if you can telecommute," she said. "Start looking now at the different options you may have."

In total, the strike would affect 40 bus routes, effectively leaving 57,000 passengers without a ride.

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Martha Maurer, News Editor

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