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Transportation and Mobility

LA Metro’s Bike Share Workforce Has Voted To Unionize

A man in a blue shirt and brown slacks rides a Metro Share bike during the day on a city street.
Photo via Metro Bike Share/Facebook
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Workers at the private company that manages Los Angeles County Metro’s bike share network will form a union following an election Thursday.

Employees at Bicycle Transit Services (BTS) voted 22 to 11 in favor of joining the Transport Workers Union, or TWU. BTS employs roughly 60 people in L.A., including mechanics, dispatchers and technicians, who manage and maintain Metro’s fleet of roughly 1,400 bikes and 240 stations.

Workers said they want to see wages that reflect the importance of their labor and factor in the cost of living in L.A. They’ve also called for better roadside protections in the field and the opportunity for a career path in the bike share industry.

“There is an ongoing wave of unionization at bikeshare systems in cities across the country, and L.A. Metro is just the latest example of bikeshare workers realizing that they can win better wages and benefits at the bargaining table if they stand together,” said TWU President John Samuelsen. “We are eager to help grow this vital transportation system and prove that these jobs can be good, long-term careers.”

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Last month, workers at the company filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to join TWU, but BTS’ leadership did not voluntarily recognize the union, forcing the election.

We spoke with a few bike share workers and the company’s CEO last week ahead of the vote. You can read that story here.