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Some YRT and Viva employees may strike, October 24

York Region Transit contracts with four private companies to provide transit services throughout York Region.

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Locals 1587 and 113 may strike against three of those private companies — Miller Transit, First Canada and York BRT Services (a part of Veolia Transportation Services) at 12:01 a.m. Monday, October 24.

ATU Local 1587, representing employees of Miller Transit and First Canada and ATU Local 113, representing York BRT services, have yet to reach agreements with the Regional Municipality of York in their ongoing negotiations. If the parties do not reach agreements before the strike deadline, union members will walk off the job, affecting many YRT and all Viva transit services.

Miller Transit operates YRT’s Southeast Division, with buses serving 51 YRT routes in the Towns of Markham, Richmond Hill and Whitchurch-Stouffville, with some routes in the City of Vaughan.

First Canada operates YRT’s North Division, with buses serving 29 YRT routes in the Towns of Newmarket and Aurora with some routes in the Towns of Richmond Hill, East Gwillimbury and Georgina.

York BRT Services operates the Viva division, with buses serving all five Viva routes in the Towns of Markham, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket and the City of Vaughan.

In the event of a strike, YRT and Viva staff will be available at terminals Monday morning to help passengers and outline other ways for passengers to get around. YRT will also extend the operating hours of its Customer Service Centre at 1-866-MOVE-YRT (668-3978).

If a strike occurs, the TTC will continue to operate buses along some north-south routes through southern York Region. Brampton Transit will also operate buses along its 501 Züm Queen rapid transit service, serving in part, passengers who usually use Viva buses operating along the orange route between Martin Grove Road and York University’s Keele Campus. GO Transit trains also continue to operate during the strike. However, since GO bus drivers are also members of ATU Local 113, GO bus service may not be available, because the drivers may also be on strike.

Local 113 members previously went on strike against York BRT Services / Veolia in September and October 2008, eliminating all Viva service in York Region.