Transit unions urge Mayors to approve Moving Forward plan in Friday vote

Translink’s unions have joined the growing call for the  Mayor’s Council on Transportation to approve the Moving Forward supplement to build the Evergreen Line and expand regional transit service.

That key vote is Friday.

Here’s the full text of the release: 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 3, 2011

Transit unions urge Metro Vancouver Mayor’s Council to support Supplemental TransLink budget to fund Evergreen Line, expand bus, Seabus and SkyTrain services as first step to sustainable funding
 

VANCOUVER – The unions representing all TransLink workers in Metro Vancouver are urging the Mayor’s Council to support passage of the “Moving Forward” Supplemental Budget to fund the Evergreen Line and expansion of bus, SeaBus and SkyTrain service.

The Joint Union Council says the budget – if passed on Friday October 7 – will allow the Evergreen Rapid Transit Line connecting Coquitlam and Port Moody to the regional rail rapid transit system to proceed and add 415,000 service hours to bus and SeaBus service by 2014 – a 7% increase.

Don MacLeod, president of the Canadian Auto Workers Local 111 representing bus drivers, said the while the Supplemental Budget will not come close to solving all of TransLink’s ongoing financial challenges in providing adequate transit services, it is an important step forward.

“The unions at TransLink believe that transit services will never meet the needs of Metro Vancouver until we reach a sustainable funding model to provide improved bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and other needed public transportation,” MacLeod said.  “But this Supplemental Budget is a small but necessary step forward to a better transit system and we support it.”

MacLeod said in addition to the Evergreen Line and 415,000 additional service hours for bus and SeaBus by 2014, the Supplemental Budget will also fund a new B-Line service in Surrey on 104th Avenue and King George Boulevard connecting Guildford, Surrey Central and White Rock, local service connecting White Rock and Langley, Rapid Bus service on Highway 1 and the new Port Mann Bridge, as well as SeaBus and SkyTrain station renovations.

“These improvements are urgently needed by our riders, who deserve a better public transit system that serves their needs,” said JUC representative Kevin Payne of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees union local 378.  “We hope the Mayor’s Council passes this Supplemental Budget and then moves on to work with the provincial government to find the sustainable funding we desperately need.”

The Joint Union Committee is comprised of CAW locals 111 & 2200, COPE 378, Canadian Union of Public Employees [CUPE] locals 7000 & 4500, Amalgamated Transit Union locals134 & 1724 and the BC Government and Service Employees Union [BCGEU].

For more information:  Don MacLeod at 604-519-1110 ext *2288 or cell (604) 992-1781 or Kevin Payne at 604-220-7431 cell or Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications, at cell 778-896-0964 or 604-844-7827