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Canada City planner says driving in Metro Vancouver will be ‘shockingly hard’ if transit strike escalates

10:30  24 november  2019
10:30  24 november  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

Mike Smyth: One strike ends, but could more be on the way?

  Mike Smyth: One strike ends, but could more be on the way? There was good news for a change on the B.C. labour front Saturday as a bitter school strike came to an end in suburban Victoria. The Saanich School District reached a tentative agreement with the union representing about 500 support workers who had been off the job for three weeks. Teachers in the district, members of a different union, had refused to cross the support workers’ picket lines, shutting schools for close to 8,000 students. The The Saanich School District reached a tentative agreement with the union representing about 500 support workers who had been off the job for three weeks.

An urban planner says some drivers already on the roads are in for an unpleasant change in traffic as the transit strike is set to escalate next week. Andy Yan, director of The City Program at Simon Fraser University, says about 400,000 thousand people move through the transit system around the

TransLink is Metro Vancouver ’s transportation network, serving residents and visitors with public transit , major roads, bridges and Trip Planning . Have your say Help shape the Surrey Langley SkyTrain. Let us know if we ' re on the right track.

a car driving down a busy highway: A transit bus enters the Stanley Park causeway after crossing over the Lions Gate Bridge from North Vancouver into Vancouver on July 2, 2015. © THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck A transit bus enters the Stanley Park causeway after crossing over the Lions Gate Bridge from North Vancouver into Vancouver on July 2, 2015.

The former director of planning for the City of Vancouver says driving in the Lower Mainland and the North Shore will be "shockingly hard" if the transit system shuts down for good.

The union representing 5,000 bus, SeaBus and maintenance workers have announced a three-day work stoppage starting Wednesday morning, leaving commuters scrambling to find rides to work or school.

The move is the latest in a pressure campaign against Coast Mountain Bus Company to meet the union's demands for higher wages and working conditions. The union has not ruled out more full-scale walkouts if a deal isn't reached by the end of next week.

More than 3,000 Canadian National Railway rail workers on strike, union says

  More than 3,000 Canadian National Railway rail workers on strike, union says MONTREAL — About 3,200 Canadian National Railway conductors, trainpersons and yard workers are on strike after the union and company failed to reach a deal by the midnight deadline. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, the union representing the employees, gave the required 72-hour strike notice on the weekend. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, the union representing the employees, gave the required 72-hour strike notice on the weekend.

It is important to plan early and be prepared. If you are driving , please note parking will likely be short in supply. For non- transit alternatives, aside from a private single-occupancy vehicle and riding with your own bike, consider the following options (these services will be in exceedingly high demand)

Driving challenges mount in Metro , from bridge and tunnel tie-ups to Highway 1 backups, south of 'This is crazy' for Metro Vancouver drivers … and congestion's growing worse. “Everybody realizes it’s really hard sitting in those lineups. Everybody in the Lower Mainland has traffic fatigue,” says Rizzo.

Now a city planning consultant, Brent Toderian says while Metro Vancouver may be able to handle the three-day stoppage, taking away transit for longer will likely have major impacts on the roads.

"The amount of space that transit saves for people who drive is remarkable," he said.

READ MORE: Transit strike Day 23: North Shore businesses suffering as SeaBus cancellations continue 

"If all the people who are on a bus and on a SeaBus convert to a car, all the people who normally drive are going to start to appreciate transit in this region."

Toderian says the city and region were planned with transit in mind. That's why highways have bus lanes and cities are setting aside more transit-only routes to help avoid traffic.

But while SkyTrain does much of the heavy lifting for the transit system, he says people "can't underestimate the important of buses and SeaBuses."

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  Hundreds of trips cancelled as Metro bus overtime ban enters second day Delays and trip cancellations continued across Metro Vancouver’s bus system on Monday as drivers refused to work overtime for a second day, as the transit workers’ strike entered its third week. Drivers first turned down overtime on Friday, which led to the cancellation of about five per cent of bus runs, with trips cancelled across Metro, with the city of Vancouver hardest hit. Hundreds of bus trip cancellations were listed under TransLink’s service alerts on Monday morning, however it’s unclear how many of them were directly related to the strike.

In the outer regions of Metro Vancouver , the car is king, as necessary for daily living as milk and bread. But in Vancouver , the car’s considered kaput, disdained by planners and green- city types who see it as a nuisance.

NJ Transit and Metro -North have put plans into action should NJ Transit rail workers go on strike this Metro -North said commuters can also use existing bus service like the Tappan ZEExpress Those buses, which run from Rockland through Bergen County and into New York City , will be

"We often say that buses are the unsung heroes of the transit system here, especially the frequent transit network that connects everyone to SkyTrain and goes everywhere that SkyTrain doesn't," he said.

Although short-term commuters will have more options for transportation alternatives, including cycling and walking, Toderian says the people hardest hit will be low-mobility residents of the outer suburbs where cycling infrastructure doesn't match Vancouver's.

"If everybody's trying to drive in that context, they aren't going to be moving very well," he said. "I'm not sure if it's going to be gridlock, but it's going to be pretty close to it."

Buses are already having a hard time getting through the region's traffic as it is. A TransLink report released earlier this year found 80 per cent of bus routes are moving slower than they did five years ago because of increased congestion.

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  ‘Very excited to get justice’: Calgary man’s SkyTrain fine cancelled after 14-month battle The $173 fine was thrown out Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court. "I was so excited about the news," Lusawovana Nunu said from his home in Calgary. "I think justice has been served, and I am very excited to get justice." Lusawovana Nunu was celebrating a job transfer with a friend in Vancouver on Sept. 14, 2018. He bought a fare at Columbia Station, but was unable to tap out properly at Stadium Station. After two failed attempts to tap the gate open, his friend opened it with his own Compass card.

All Vancouver Public Transportation is run by TransLink, the Metro Vancouver transportation authority. TransLink operates a variety of public transportation options in Vancouver and tickets Most people use the Canada Line & SkyTrain Rapid Transit when visiting the city , especially the Canada Line.

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READ MORE: 80% of Metro Vancouver bus routes are slower than 5 years ago: report 

With fears of even more bumper-to-bumper traffic to come, Toderian says people should consider cutting their travel as much as possible.

"All the people who do have choices should make different choices," he said. "Work from home, drop those discretionary trips."

TransLink and other institutions, including the region's universities, have been urging people to arrange carpools and seek out car sharing programs to make due during the three-day strike and for potential work stoppages in the future.

ICBC has said it is considering allowing people in lower rate classes to drive longer than their current thresholds if the strike continues, similar to what it did in 2001.

Both of those solutions could end up putting even more vehicles on the roads.

At an event in Whistler Saturday, Unifor national president Jerry Dias said he's confident the public is still on the union's side in the dispute.

"We have taken our time," he said. "We have been demonstrating, we've been wearing shirts, handing out leaflets," he said. "We didn't push into a strike at all.

SkyTrain workers vote 96.8% in favour of job action but have no immediate plans to strike

  SkyTrain workers vote 96.8% in favour of job action but have no immediate plans to strike SkyTrain workers have voted in favour of job action after months-long negotiations between them and their employer, the B.C. Rapid Transit Company, broke off last week. The vote gives the union the option of taking measures such as refusing overtime or going on strike, but the union has not yet given notice of any disruptions of service."It sends a strong message to our employer that our members are not happy with how the bargaining process has gone through," said CUPE 7000 president Tony Rebelo. "They feel that the employer just hasn't taken this round of bargaining seriously enough.

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The City of Vancouver works with TransLink, who plans and manages public transit services for the Metro Vancouver area. Get to know the names of the City 's public transportation modes so you can get around the City more easily. A link to a specific TransLink trip planner is placed beside each mode.

"But now, like every other set of negotiations, it has to come to a head. We did everything humanly possible to avoid this."

Dias said the union is waiting for Coast Mountain Bus Company to signal they're ready to make another offer. But the company has said its latest offer is the best it can deliver.

READ MORE: Metro Vancouver transit strike: Here’s how your commute may be affected 

The offer includes a wage increase of $6,000 for drivers and of $10,000 for skilled trades workers over four years at the top end of their salary grids.

The company says the wage gap between what employers are offering and the union wants is about $150 million over 10 years. That's significantly less than the $600-million gap that existed when job action began on Nov. 1.

The union continues to call for wages on par with transit workers in Toronto, along with minimum breaks and other concessions on working conditions.

Coast Mountain Bus Company asked for a fourth time this week for both sides to agree to mediation, which the union refused.

Suzuki report says 'road pricing' key to cutting greenhouse gases in B.C. .
Metro Vancouver and the province should “seriously pursue road pricing” as the most effective way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, says a report from the David Suzuki Foundation. The report Shifting Gears: Climate Solutions for Transportation in Cities also supports policies that are already in place, such as the province’s requirement of 30 per cent zero emission light vehicle sales by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2040, as well as supporting Canada’s vehicle emissions standard for light-duty vehicles.

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