GO Transit bus riders can breathe a sigh of relief as the new work week begins today.

In the early morning hours Monday, the union representing more than 1,850 bus drivers, station attendants, maintenance and safety personnel and some office staff reached a tentative deal with Metrolinx —​ the company that operates GO Transit — averting a labour strike that would have affected about 53,000 commuters. 

Negotiations between the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1587 and Metrolinx began in earnest last week and continued until around 2:30 a.m. Monday morning. 

The union's three-year contract expired on Saturday, and a strike deadline had been set for 12:00 a.m ET Monday. It would have been the first strike GO Transit's 47-year history. 

Despite the deadline, GO Transit buses continued operating on a regular schedule as negotiators worked towards a new deal. 

Details of the tentative contract have not been released, and there's no word yet on a date for a ratification vote, however, it's expected to happen some time this week.

Dan Harris, President of Local 1587 said in a statement issued early Monday morning "we are very pleased that a fair and equitable agreement was reached without any disruption to GO Transit service."


With files from The Canadian Press