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Md. Bus Strike Could Hurt Voter Turnout

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By Matt Laslo

A bus strike in Prince George's County, Maryland is affecting thousands of commuters for the second straight day, which some voter rights groups worry could hurt turnout in Tuesday's primary election.

Extra minutes count on Election Day, and outside the Branch Avenue Metro Station, passengers are spending several of them wondering when their bus will arrive.

"It's hampering a whole lot of of people, because ain't too many people have cars," passenger Leroy Bartlett said.

Forty percent of the county's bus service is outsourced to Veolia Transportation. Called "The Bus," it's used by approximately fourteen thousand people daily. Its union workers, like Randell Rhodes, are pushing for better pay and looser disciplinary policies.

"We're in the business of moving people on a daily business - we understand we're causing an inconvenience, but it's something we felt we had to do," Rhodes said.

Veolia Transportation usually staffs 60 buses. For now, it's running just 31.

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