After several complaints, a union representing transit workers is calling for the resignation of Palm Tran's executive director Chuck Cohen.
Photographer: Thomas Cordy, The Palm Beach Post
MV Transportation, a West Palm Beach company that operates a door-to-door bus service for disabled residents, said Friday that it will lay off 165 workers in August because it has lost its contract to operate the service.
The company said it has operated the Palm Tran Connection transit service since February 2005 in the West Palm Beach area.
MV Transportation is sharing routes with Palm Metro Transportation, which union officials said was awarded the business. The operator is selected by competitive bid.
"Our hope is that the current employees will be able to transition to the new provider," MV Transportation spokeswoman Cristina Russell said. MV Transportation has 830 employees in Florida.
MV Transportation is working with Palm Tran "to ensure a smooth transition to the new provider," Russell said.
Dwight Mattingly, business agent for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1577, which represents transit drivers, said he has filed a complaint with Palm Beach County 's inspector general, asking for an investigation of the bidding process.
Palm Tran director Chuck Cohen wasn't available for comment on Friday, said spokeswoman Paula Girard.
Workers will be laid off between Aug. 12 and Aug. 26, according to the layoff notice that MV Transportation issued to the state. The company is required by law to notify employees before the layoff.
Palm Tran Connection travels in Palm Beach County from Jupiter to Boca Raton and from Palm Beach to South Bay. The service operates seven days a week with nearly 4,000 scheduled passenger trips each weekday, according to PalmTran's website.
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