TransLink warns of more than 100 bus cancellations in Metro Vancouver today

As the transit strike continues in Metro Vancouver, many bus passengers were left waiting a bit longer than usual during their Monday morning commute.

TransLink, the area’s transit operator, lists hundreds of service alerts on dozens of routes across the Lower Mainland as Unifor bus drivers, SeaBus operators and mechanics enter Day 18 of a labour dispute with Coast Mountain Bus Company.

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Currently, the transit operator has listed 427 advisory alerts under its “bus” section. Some of these are scheduled detours, and a few are due to traffic, but the vast majority are cancelled as a result of the transit strike.

For example, the #3 bus, which saw a few cancellations this morning, has a number of advisories listed for this afternoon and evening:

  • 3 Main-Marine Drive Station trip leaving Eastbound West Cordova Street at Seymour Street at 4:55 p.m.
  • 3 Main-Marine Drive Station trip leaving Eastbound West Cordova Street at Seymour Street at 4:55 p.m.
  • 3 Main-Marine Drive Station trip leaving Eastbound West Cordova Street at Seymour Street at 3:03 p.m.
  • 3 Downtown trip leaving Marine Drive Station at Bay 1 at 2:13 p.m.
  • 3 Main-Marine Drive Station trip leaving Eastbound West Cordova Street at Seymour Street at 5:24 p.m.
  • 3 Downtown trip leaving Marine Drive Station @ Bay 1 at 4:31 p.m.
  • 3 Main-Marine Drive Station trip leaving Eastbound West Cordova Street at Seymour Street at 3:30 p.m.
  • 3 Main-Marine Drive Station trip leaving Eastbound West Cordova Street at Seymour Street at 3:30 p.m.
  • 3 Main-Marine Drive Station trip leaving Eastbound West Cordova Street at Seymour Street at 1:35 p.m.
  • 3 Downtown trip leaving Marine Drive Station @ Bay 1 at 12:45 p.m.

As of 11 a.m. on Nov. 18, approximately 114 bus routes in Metro Vancouver have advisory alerts. Some hard-hit routes include the busy line along Broadway and buses to Simon Fraser University, the University of B.C., the B.C. Institute of Technology and Capilano University.

“We’re expecting five to 10 per cent of service to be impacted today due to union job action,” Ben Murphy, TransLink spokesperson, told Vancouver Is Awesome in an email.

“This morning 4 SeaBus sailings also had to be cancelled.  Customers should sign-up for transit alerts and check the TransLink website or Twitter account for the most up-to-date information and impacts being caused by union job action.”

Murphy underscores that the view from Coast Mountain Bus Company is still that the union needs to be more realistic about their wage demands, and that its offer is in excess of other public sector settlements in British Columbia.

“Coast Mountain Bus Company has offered wage increases of more than $6,000 for transit operators and around $10,000 for skilled tradespeople.  This would bring transit operator salaries to just under $70,000, and skilled tradespeople salaries to around $88,000.”

Unifor lead negotiator Gavin McGarrigle and other Unifor representatives held a news conference in New Westminster earlier last week.

McGarrigle mentioned how, “TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond could see his pay soar by 25 per cent to nearly $500,000 a year, while the head of the Toronto Transit Commission earns $150,000 less each year.”

“CMBC President Michael McDaniel has been on the job for about a year and a half and could see his salary soar by 18 per cent to about $372,000,” he said.

McGarrigle added that “both of these transit executives make more than the Prime Minister.”

“Translink simply doesn’t treat its workers fairly. They divide their workers into separate companies and tell skilled trades not to compare their wages with each other. In the employer’s mind, a comparison to Toronto’s transit system is fine for executive wages, but it’s somehow offside for transit operators,” said Gavin McGarrigle.

With files from the Canadian Press. 

Click here for original article.

 

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