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GO bus drivers and other employees on strike, starting November 7



Update —Friday, November 11, 6:52 a.m.: GO Transit workers and Metrolinx have reached a tentative deal; GO buses resume service Saturday, November 12.


Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1587 have withdrawn their services from their employer, Metrolinx, as of Monday, November 7. The local represents more than 2,000 GO Transit bus drivers, station attendants and other employees.

The strike means that GO is not providing any bus service to passengers.

In a news release, ATU explains,

“Despite ATU Local 1587’s best efforts to negotiate an agreement to address safety issues and other concerns in the final 48 hours before the strike deadline, 2,200 GO Transit workers will be on strike starting at 12:01 a.m., Monday morning.

“Metrolinx continues to refuse to address safety concerns by ensuring that experienced and highly trained workers remain on the job, and continues to refuse to budge on language that would protect GO Transit jobs from being contracted out. The Union has emphasized that safety and job security are its top priorities since bargaining began in April.

“Metrolinx workers had originally planned to strike on October 31, but last Wednesday pushed back the deadline in order to vote on the most recent offer. The deal failed overwhelmingly, with 81% voting to reject it and go on strike.”

Metrolinx says that it’s “disappointed to advise our [passengers] that GO Bus service will not operate effective Monday, November 7, 2022. The union representing GO Bus operators, station ambassadors, maintenance personnel, transit safety and some office staff walked away from negotiations on Sunday afternoon. Until further notice, GO Bus service will be not operating across the province. GO Train service and UP Express [continue] to operate as [normally].”

Through a CBC news report, Metrolinx media spokesperson, Anne Marie Aikens, advises passengers to plan ahead, budget extra time for commutes and stay informed on strike developments through GO Transit’s website and social media accounts.

According to the CBC,

“Metrolinx issued a statement saying the union walked away from weekend negotiations and declined a request to return to the table on Monday. [Local 1587 president Rob] Cormier confirmed to CBC News that the union left the bargaining table Sunday after giving three offers to Metrolinx.

“Aikins said the transit operator has offered more than “67 improvements” to the union’s current collective agreement. She said Monday Metrolinx had ‘always bargained in good faith’ and remained willing to ‘get back to the table and to reach an agreement.’

“‘We were quite surprised that the ATU tabled several new issues, with new language and time ultimatums that could not be reasonably met and then walked away from the negotiations over the weekend,’ said Aikins. Aikins has also acknowledged the union’s concerns about contracting outside workers, but maintained the company has measures in place to ensure safety for all.”


What the strike means for passengers
  • No GO bus service.
  • Local transit agencies continue to operate, but the agencies may drop off or pick up passengers on the street near GO stations and bus terminals, instead of entering the terminals.
  • GO and UP Express trains continue to operate with regular schedules.
  • Ticket booths at all GO stations and bus terminals are closed and in-person ticket-booth sales aren’t available.
  • GO advises passengers to “load your PRESTO fare card or buy your ticket in advance.”
  • PRESTO services continue to be available through the PRESTO website and many Shoppers Drug Mart stores across the region.
  • You can also buy GO Transit e-tickets and passes online.

York Region Transit explains that “all YRT services will continue to operate as [normally]. In the event there is picketing at terminals serviced by GO Transit, there is the potential that some YRT routes may be on detour. If a terminal becomes inaccessible, YRT routes will pick up / drop off [passengers] on-street. There will be signs and staff to help direct travellers on where to board their YRT bus.”

YRT also has a more detailed plan about its services during the strike.


MiWay says, “For operational and safety reasons, MiWay buses will not enter a GO bus terminal or GO station if there is an active picket line. MiWay routes will be detoured as needed with service updates posted at impacted stops and on our website.”


Oakville Transit has announced that “Contingency plans are in place to mitigate the impacts of any disruption for our [passengers] should they occur at any of the GO Transit stations Oakville Transit operates to… Picket lines at GO stations and terminals are possible at any given time during this labour disruption. Oakville Transit buses servicing GO stations and terminals will not cross picket lines. If there are picket lines, alternate pick up and drop off locations will be available at all GO Transit locations Oakville Transit normally serves, which may include Oakville GO, Bronte GO, Clarkson GO, Appleby GO, and the Trafalgar/407 and Dundas/407 carpool lots. For care-A-van [passengers] connecting to specialized services in Burlington and Mississauga, transfer locations are Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (to connect to Burlington Handi-Van and Sheridan College (to connect to Peel TransHelp).” “


YRT service plan during GO Transit labour disruption


The strike may impact YRT service at various terminals. Plan ahead.

Finch GO Bus Terminal:

Routes 2, 5, 77, 88, 91/91A, 98E, 99, 98/99, Viva blue, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304 and 305.

Detours

  • All southbound buses, except for buses along the Viva blue route, proceed: eastward along Cummer Avenue; southward along Willowdale Avenue; and then westward along Bishop Avenue, dropping off or picking up passengers on Bishop Avenue.
  • Northbound buses start their trips on Bishop Avenue, then resume their regular route northward along Yonge Street.
  • Buses along the Viva blue route operate along Yonge Street, Kempford Boulevard and Beecroft Road to Finch Avenue West.

Highway 407 Terminal:

Routes 20 and 720

Detours

  • South- and northbound buses drop off or pick up passengers on Jane Street at the entrance to Highway 407 Terminal.

Richmond Hill Centre Terminal:

Routes 1, 83, 86, 87, 91B, 99, 98/99, 760, Viva purple, Viva blue and Viva orange.

Detours

Viva blue, Routes 99 and 98/99:

  • Southbound buses stay on Yonge Street and drop off or pick up passengers at Garden Avenue.
  • Northbound buses stay on Yonge Street and serve passengers at Connector Road.

Viva orange:

  • Eastbound buses continue along Connector Road, cross Yonge Street and drop off or pick up passengers at stop 2802 on Garden Avenue.
  • Westbound buses start their trips at stop 2802 on Garden Avenue, continue along Garden, then proceed: southward along Hunter’s Point Drive; and then, eastward along Highway 7 to regular routing.

Viva purple and Route 91B:

  • Westbound buses continue along the Connector Road and drop off or pick up passengers at the corner of Yonge Street and Connector Road.
  • Eastbound buses start their trips at the temporary stop on Connector Road, then proceed: northward along Yonge Street; eastward along High Tech Road; and then southward along Red Maple Road to Highway 7, resuming their regular route eastward along Highway 7.

Routes 1 and 86:

  • Southbound buses continue along the Connector Road and drop off or pick up passengers at the corner of Yonge Street and Connector Road.
  • Northbound buses start their trips at the temporary stop on Connector Road, then proceed: northward along Yonge Street to High Tech Road, resuming their regular route eastward along High Tech.

Routes 83 and 87:

  • Eastbound buses continue along Connector Road and then drop off or pick up passengers at a stop across from Richmond Hill Centre Terminal.
  • Westbound buses proceed: eastward along Highway 7; northward along Red Maple Road; westward along High Tech Road; and then southward along Yonge Street to Garden Avenue, resuming their regular route westward along Garden.

Route 760:

  • South- and northbound buses continue along Connector Road and drop off or pick up passengers across from Richmond Hill Centre Terminal. Then buses then proceed: ** eastward along Highway 7; northward along Red Maple Road; and westward along High Tech Road to Yonge Street, resuming their to regular route south- or northward along Yonge.

Rutherford GO Station:

Routes 85, 87 and 107B.

Detours

Route 85:

  • East- and westbound buses stay on Rutherford Road and drop off or pick up passengers curbside.

Route 87:

  • Eastbound buses start their trips on Rutherford Road beyond the GO station, then proceed: southward along Jacob Keffer Parkway, westward along Gatner Gate; northward along Keele Street; and then eastward along Rutherford Road, resuming their regular route at the GO station.
  • Westbound buses stay on Rutherford Road and drop off or pick up passengers curbside.

Route 107B:

  • Southbound buses start their trips on Westburne Drive beside the GO station, then proceed: westward along Rutherford Road; southward along Jacob Keffer Parkway, westward along Gatner Gate; northward along Keele Street; eastward along Rutherford Road to Westburne Drive, resuming their regular route southward along Westburne.
  • Northbound buses pick up passengers at stop 3867 on Westburne Drive.

Unionville GO Station:

Detour

Route 8:

  • Southbound buses operate along their regular route to YMCA Boulevard and University Boulevard, then proceed: northward along University; and then eastward along Enterprise Boulevard and Unionville Gate to Kennedy Road, resuming their regular route southward along Kennedy.
  • Northbound buses operate along their regular route to YMCA Boulevard and University Boulevard, then proceed: northward along University; and then eastward along Enterprise Boulevard and Unionville Gate to Kennedy Road, resuming their regular route northward along Kennedy.
  • All buses drop off or pick up passengers at the University vivastation.