British Columbia

25 busy bus routes disrupted across Metro Vancouver on day 8 of transit job action

TransLink has nearly 250 service alerts in effect Friday morning, with dozens of bus routes and SeaBus sailings disrupted as Metro Vancouver transit workers enter the eighth day of regionwide job action.

Buses running less frequently on dozens of routes; 16 more SeaBus sailings cancelled Friday

Passengers board a TransLink bus in Vancouver on Nov. 1. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Bus service reductions or cancellations hit 25 of Metro Vancouver's busiest bus routes Friday as job action by Unifor maintenance workers and drivers entered a second week.

TransLink says a majority of the reductions affected "high-frequency routes,'' including several servicing the University of British Columbia.

"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,'' said TransLink in a statement.

Here's what you need to know for Friday:

Bus service

TransLink had nearly 250 service alerts in effect Friday morning, announcing a slew of delays and disruptions to bus service across the region. Several trips have been cancelled, which means buses will be picking up and dropping off passengers less frequently. Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam appear to be most affected.

The following routes have been affected:

  • 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 25, 32, 33, 41, 43, 84, 152, 156, 183, 188, 189, 403, 410, 430, 555, 601.

Find your bus route and information on cancelled trips here.

TransLink says bus service on 11 different routes experienced 'frequency delays' during the Thursday morning commute because of union job action. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

TransLink has not said whether the cancellations are linked to the job action by staff employed by Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC), which operates most of Metro Vancouver's bus services on behalf of TransLink. 

Gavin McGarrigle, western regional director of Unifor, said the disruptions are due to maintenance workers' refusal to work overtime, which has led to a lack of buses available.

SeaBus cancellations

Another 16 SeaBus sailings have been scrapped on Friday. The cancellations are also linked to the overtime ban.

According to TransLink, dropped sailings include:

  • The 6:17 a.m., 6:47 a.m., 4:10 p.m., 6:47 p.m., 7:17 p.m., 7:47 p.m., 8:17 p.m., and 8:47 p.m. sailings from Lonsdale Quay.
  • The 6:31 a.m., 7:00 a.m., 4:25 p.m., 7:01 p.m., 7:31 p.m., 8:01 p.m., 8:31 p.m., 9:01 p.m. sailings from Waterfront Station.

More than 75 SeaBus sailings have been cancelled since job action began. 

SkyTrain and other services

SkyTrain, West Coast Express, HandyDART, West Vancouver Blue Bus and other contracted services have not been affected by the job action to date. They are not expected to be affected Friday.

A ban on overtime was imposed Nov. 1, when 5,000 mechanics and transit operators launched limited job action against CMBC. Wages, benefits and working conditions are key issues in the dispute.

No talks have been held since Oct. 31, when negotiations collapsed, but Premier John Horgan warned both sides Thursday that a long dispute like the last strike in 2001 won't be tolerated.

"I'll remind you that the last time the official Opposition was in government there was a four-month transit strike in Vancouver and I can assure you that won't happen on my watch,'' Horgan said while attending an event in Courtenay, B.C.

With files from the Canadian Press

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