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Veolia, union break off talks,
some YRT workers to go on strike, February 22

The members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 113 will exercise their right to go on strike against their employer, Veolia Transport Canada, at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, February 22.

ATU Local 113 — the same local that represents many employees of the TTC — and Veolia returned to the bargaining table yesterday to continue contract negotiations for York Region Transit’s (YRT) southwest division. However, talks broke down and the two parties couldn’t reach an agreement.

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 Vaughan and but also some routes in the Aurora, King, Markham, Newmarket and Richmond Hill. 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 Tuesday, 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.

You can see a map of Brampton Transit, TTC and YRT / Viva services that will operate in the event of a strike here. (.pdf)

YRT is encouraging passengers to use TTC services to travel north-and-south and Brampton Transit’s 501 Züm Queen buses or any YRT Viva service to travel east-and-west through Vaughan or other areas without YRT services during the strike.