1974 Washington Bus Strike

Bus Strike Creates Traffic Disaster

Washington residents and those in the suburbs had a rough time in May of 1974 thanks to a Metrobus strike (remember, Metro didn’t open until 1976 … but they probably would have also been on strike).

Thursday, May 2nd was the first day the union members walked off the job. The strike was caused by a dispute over the terms for continuing the cost-of-living adjustments the union had negotiated with Metro and the previous contract expired Tuesday morning. Metro had recently only come into being as an organization and had taken over the former D.C. Transit System in 1974, consolidating control of the public transportation system for the District in preparation for the new subway system. John A. Robertie, the deputy general counsel of Metro, was pushing to shrink the cost-of-living adjustments to control their budget...

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Photo: Parking lot in what is now the Reagan Building. (1974)