Valley man drives stranded bus riders during strike - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Valley man drives stranded bus riders during strike

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PHOENIX -

It's day three of the valley bus strike and there's no end in sight--at least not yet.

Both sides went back to the negotiating table at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

A deal was rejected by drivers earlier this week because they say it would make it easier for them to be fired and force them to pay more health benefits.

Bus riders are forced to find other ways to get around the valley until the deal can be settled.

One man is helping riders who have been stranded by the bus strike.

He's offering rides to those he sees waiting at the bus stops.

Bus routes in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe were effected, along with express routes from those cities to Scottsdale and Phoenix.

A man, who's had the last few days off work, thought he'd do a good deed and help some folks out.

Timothy McKinstry has spent hours going from bus stop to bus stop, picking up riders who were waiting on a bus that was never coming.

"I think most people know about it, where those who were out for one reason or another didn't know about the bus strike," said McKinstry.

Buses on 40 routes stopped running Thursday after negotiations between the bus drivers and the national bus company they work for broke down.

The routes served an estimated 57,000 riders daily.

"Figured it wasn't a permanent solution, but at least I could help them that day to get where they were going," said McKinstry.

McKinstry estimated that he's picked up about 30 people since Thursday.

"Most of them are people going to or from a job. There was one gentleman going for a job interview, some people were going from one job to another job," said McKinstry.

McKinstry says his rides are free, although many people who are appreciative of his generosity have offered to pay him.

"Most people have offered $2 or $5. I just told them I wasn't doing it for the money, I was just doing it to help out, so I've turned all cash donations down," said McKinstry.

"Feels good to help some people out, knowing I help them get to work, get home from work, otherwise they'd have to walk three or 10 or 12 miles, or however far it is," he continued.

Because of his work schedule, McKinstry won't be able to give more rides until Wednesday, if the strike is still in effect then.

Last summer, he said he drove around handing out bottled water to those in need.

Related story: Bus drivers' strike continues in Phoenix suburbs

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