Vancouver transit job action: 27 bus routes, 16 SeaBus sailings affected
VANCOUVER – The transit labour dispute was affecting bus service once again Friday morning.
TransLink confirmed there were cancellations on 25 routes in Metro Vancouver during morning rush hour and disruptions were added on two other routes during the evening commute.
The affected routes, most of which are described by TransLink as "high frequency," are:
- 3 Main/Downtown
- 4 Powell/Downtown/UBC
- 5 Robson/Downtown
- 6 Davie/Downtown
- 7 Nanaimo Station/Dunbar
- 8 Fraser/Downtown
- 9 Boundary/Commercial-Broadway/Granville/Alma/UBC
- 10 Granville/Downtown
- 20 Victoria/Downtown
- 25 Brentwood Station/UBC
- 32 Dunbar/Downtown
- 33 29th Avenue Station/UBC
- 41 Joyce Station/Crown/UBC
- 43 Joyce Station/UBC
- 84 UBC/VCC-Clark Station
- 152 Coquitlam Central Station/Lougheed Station
- 156 Braid Station/Lougheed Station
- 183 Moody Centre Station/Coquitlam Central Station
- 188 Coquitlam Central Station/Port Coquitlam Station
- 189 Coquitlam Central Station/Lafarge Park
- 301 Newton Exchange/Brighouse Station
- 403 Bridgeport Station/Three Road
- 410 Richmond-Brighouse Station/22nd Street Station
- 430 Metrotown/Brighouse Station
- 555 Carvolth Exchange/Lougheed Station
- 601 South Delta/Boundary Bay/Bridgeport
- 620 Tsawwassen Ferry/Bridgeport Station
In an emailed statement, TransLink repeated a message sent to media during Thursday's cancellations: "Coast Mountain Bus Company is making every effort to ensure reliable service, but the union's job action will continue to have impacts on the system."
A spokesperson said previously that TransLink is trying to keep the bulk of cancellations on the busier routes so riders aren't forced to wait too long for the next bus.
Job action began Nov. 1, with several SeaBus sailings cancelled due to a ban on overtime. Each day, TransLink has taken sailings off its calendar as the ban means it can't keep up with recently increased service.
On Friday, the following sailings were cancelled:
- 6:17 a.m. from Lonsdale Quay
- 6:31 a.m. from Waterfront Station
- 6:47 a.m. from Lonsdale Quay
- 7 a.m. from Waterfront Station
- 4:10 p.m. from Lonsdale Quay
- 4:25 p.m. from Waterfront Station
- 6:47 p.m. from Lonsdale Quay
- 7:01 p.m. from Waterfront Station
- 7:17 p.m. from Lonsdale Quay
- 7:31 p.m. from Waterfront Station
- 7:47 p.m. from Lonsdale Quay
- 8:01 p.m. from Waterfront Station
- 8:17 p.m. from Lonsdale Quay
- 8:31 p.m. from Waterfront Station
- 8:47 p.m. from Lonsdale Quay
- 9:01 p.m. from Waterfront Station
A bus bridge will be operating 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday to provide additional service for SeaBus customers impacted by the cancellations.
There is some relief in the coming days: TransLink said there isn't expected to be any SeaBus cancellations Saturday.
The union for transit workers has also said there won't be any escalation until after Remembrance Day, but the reprieve may be short-lived.
"As this goes it will continue to get worse and we don't want that for our commuters, we don’t want that for our staff either," said Michael McDaniel, president of Coast Mountain.
Negotiations between the union and Coast Mountain have been halted for over a week.
TransLink said the union was asked to return to the bargaining table but has refused, but Unifor's western region director said Coast Mountain isn't taking workers' demands seriously.
"They've said, 'Come back to the table, agree to our position and we'll get it done.' And of course, that's not how it works," said Gavin McGarrigle, lead negotiator for Unifor.
The union is asking for higher wages, better benefits and improvements to working conditions – including a guaranteed minimum break time for drivers on shift. CMBC estimates the workers' demands will cost $608 million more than the company's current offer over the course of a decade, but has not provided a breakdown of how it came to that number.
Its current offer is said to cost about $71 million over the next 10 years.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Andrew Weichel