Pace Bus Strike

DES PLAINES, Ill. (AP) -- Pace bus drivers are walking the picket lines in suburban Chicago today in a strike that affects service on more than 20 of the transit agency's routes.

The union members work out of the Pace garage in Des Plaines, which serves Chicago's north and northwest suburbs. The 215 drivers and mechanics have been without a contract for nearly a year.

Teamsters official Terrence Hancock says his union is ready to get back to the negotiating table. The union voted down an offer by Pace officials earlier this month and voted for a strike.

But Pace spokesman Patrick Wilmot says his agency views today's action as an illegal strike. Wilmot says Pace is trying to arrange mediation with the union.

The strike is cutting service to nearly 22,000 riders.