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Some YRT bus drivers could go on strike February 14

Update — February 16, 11:09 p.m.: Members of Local 113 have rejected Veolia’s contract offer. Although talks between Veolia and the union will continue, the union says it will go on strike at 12:01 a.m. Monday, February 20.

Update — February 14, 6:55 a.m.: The members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 and Veolia Transportation Canada have reached a tentative agreement and have averted strike action.

Update — February 12, 5:57 p.m.: YRT has produced a map showing where YRT, Viva, Brampton Transit and TTC buses would operate through York Region in the event of a strike. You can see the map here. (.pdf)

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 are in a legal position to strike against Veolia Transport Canada at 12:01 a.m. Monday, February 14, if they do not reach a new contract agreement.

Although negotiations between ATU Local 113 — the same local that represents many employees of the TTC — and Veolia Transportation have been ongoing, the two parties have not scheduled their next meeting until Sunday, February 13. This means that, if the two sides fail to reach an agreement, York Region Transit won’t be able to provide much advance notice that the strike will be affecting service in its southwest division on Monday.

York Region contracts all of its public-transit services either to private companies or to the TTC. Veolia Transportation is one of four private contractors that provide conventional and rapid transit operations and maintenance services for YRT and Viva.

Under its contract with York Region for YRT’s southwest division, Veolia operates buses along 24 YRT routes — mainly in the City of Vaughan and but also some routes in the Towns of Richmond Hill, Newmarket, Aurora and Markham and the Township of King. About 214 Veolia operators and mechanics and 131 YRT vehicles serve nearly 28,000 passengers in the southwest division Mondays to Fridays.

Members of Local 113 previously struck against Veolia — or at least its subsidiary, York Region BRT Servicesfrom Wednesday, October 1, 2008 until Friday, October 10. Buses did not operate along any Viva routes during that 10-day work stoppage.

In the event of a strike, YRT and Viva will assign transit inspectors and customer information representatives to busy locations throughout York Region and extend its customer service centre hours to help passengers get around or plan alternate routes.

If a strike occurs Monday, buses will not operate along these routes:

3 / 3A / 3B Thornhill - York U
4 / 4A Major Mackenzie
5 Clark
7 Martin Grove
10 York U - Woodbridge
11 Woodbridge
12 Pine Valley
13 Islington
20 Jane - Concord
23 Thornhill Woods
27 Highway 27
28 Zenway - Highway 27
77 Highway 7
88 / 88E Bathurst
91 / 91A / 91B / 91E Bayview
98E Yonge express
98 / 99 Yonge late-night
99 Yonge
360 Maple express
460 Holy Cross high school special
461 Emily Carr high school special
462 Maple high school special
463 Vellore high school special
464 St. Joan of Arc high school special
464 St. Joan of Arc high school special

Passengers traveling to and from these secondary schools should prepare for no regular or high-school-special service if a strike occurs:

  • Alexander Mackenzie High School
  • Bayview Secondary School
  • Emily Carr Secondary School
  • Father Bressani Catholic High School
  • Holy Cross Academy
  • Jean Vanier Catholic High School
  • Maple High School
  • St. Elizabeth Catholic High School
  • St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School
  • St. Theresa Catholic High School
  • Stephen Lewis Secondary School
  • Thornhill Secondary School
  • Thornlea Secondary School
  • Vaughan Secondary School
  • Westmount Collegiate
  • Woodbridge College

Regular service would continue along these routes during a strike:

  • All five Viva routes throughout the Region. (York Region has contracted York Region BRT Services — which is also part of Veolia Transportation — to operate buses along these routes.)
  • All 28 YRT routes in the Towns of Markham and Whitchurch-Stouffville and 21 routes in the Town of Richmond Hill. (York Region has contracted Miller Transit to operate buses along these routes.)
  • All 29 YRT routes in the Towns of Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina and Newmarket and the Township of King. (York Region has contracted First Group Inc. to operate buses along these routes.)
  • All four community bus routes in the Towns of Markham, Newmarket and Richmond Hill. (York Region has contracted Tokmakjien Group to operate buses along these routes.)
  • All YRT Mobility Plus door-to-door shared-ride accessible transit services for people with disabilities.
  • All 11 TTC bus routes in the City of Vaughan and the Town of Markham.
  • Brampton Transit buses operating along the 501 / 501A Züm Queen route in the City of Vaughan.
  • All GO Transit bus routes throughout York Region, including the 69 Sutton - Newmarket route, which GO and YRT operate together.

If Local 113 sets up picket lines at YRT terminals during the strike — TTC passengers traveling along the 160 Bathurst North route should expect detours and delays at Promenade Terminal.

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