Deal could end part of YRT bus strike

Three months to the day after the strike began, a tentative settlement has been reached to end the Viva bus strike in York Region.

The picket lines are down at the Finch bus station — the first sign in months that the transit problems in York Region may be coming to an end. 

Three months to the day after the strike began, a tentative settlement was reached late Tuesday to end the Viva bus strike — though that won't end all of the transit problems.

The deal is subject to a vote by 220 members of Local 113 of the Amalgamated Transit Union and Veolia Transportation, which operates Viva buses.

A membership meeting to discuss the tentative deal and conduct the vote will be held on Thursday morning.

Union officials are recommending its members accept the agreement and no details will be released until after the vote.

The labour dispute has affected more than 45,000 riders daily, even though not the entire system has been shut down.

About 40 per cent of the YRT system has continued to work during the strike, but for transit user Vic Virkoutis it's been a long three months.

"It's been rough. I come in from the top of Richmond Hill to here and you know, a lot of waiting — waiting to get in and out of the terminals. I have to leave 45 minutes early in order to get to work downtown," Virkoutis told CBC News.

But a spokesperson for York Rgeion says service won't be back to normal until next month — at the earliest — even if a tentative agreement between Veolia and ATU local 113 is ratified.

After being off the road for so long buses need to be serviced.

Also a number of workers quit during the strike, others have to be hired and trained before service can return to normal.

Workers for Miller Transit remain on strike and last week York Region terminated its contract with First Canada. 


With files from CBC Toronto