BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Vermont Agency of Transportation is urging both sides in a public bus service contract dispute to remember passenger needs in their efforts to resolve the strike.

Transportation Secretary Brian Searles says ridership and investments have been growing and the agency fears momentum could be lost from a strike.

Chittenden County Transportation Authority, which operates public bus service and represents nearly 70 bus drivers, says union drivers aren't working Monday after rejecting a contract offer last week.

The CTTA offered to resolve disputes through a neutral dispute resolution process using a third-party arbiter. Rob Slingerland, a spokesman for the Teamsters Local 597, did not immediately respond to messages seeking an update.

Green Mountain Transit Authority-operated Link Express and Addison County Regional Transit-operated116 Commuter buses are still running.