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Hundreds of thousands of Pittsburgh area workers scrambled to get to their jobs as the city's buses and trolleys were halted by a strike that began at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Officials tried to arrange alternate transportation for the transit system's 285,000 daily riders, including car pools and shuttle buses from outlying areas.But by 6:30 a.m., there didn't seem to be much of an increase in car pools and there was at least a five-mile backup on highways east of the city.

The 2,700 members of Local 85 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, who have been without a contract since November, walked off the job when all-day talks Saturday with the Port Authority of Allegheny County failed to resolve the dispute.

The union's demands include pay hikes, employer-paid health insurance and increased pension benefits.