May 8, 2006

All YRT service in Vaughan and some service in Richmond Hill, Markham and King to be affected if contract talks unsuccessful


Viva, TTC and GO Transit service will remain in operation if contract offer is not ratified between Canar / Tokmakjian Inc. and Amalgamated Transit Union


NEWMARKET Ė All York Region Transit (YRT) routes in the City of Vaughan and some YRT service in the Towns of Richmond Hill and Markham and the Township of King may be affected if labour negotiations between Canar / Tokmakjian Inc. and members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) do not result in a new contract.


Canar / Tokmakjian Inc. is one of four private companies that provide conventional and rapid transit operations and maintenance contracts for YRT and Viva.  ATU will conduct a ratification vote on the Canar / Tokmakjian contract offer on Tuesday, May 9th.  If the contract offer is not ratified, the ATU has advised they could commence strike action as early as the start of service on the morning of Thursday, May 11th.


The contract with Canar / Tokmakjian Inc. includes 23 YRT routes operating primarily in the City of Vaughan with some service extending to the Towns of Markham and Richmond Hill via routes on Bayview Avenue and Major Mackenzie Drive and the Township of King via a route on Bathurst Street.  The contract involves 112 YRT buses and 193 contracted bus operators, which carries nearly 11,500 riders of YRTís 55,000 daily weekday passengers.


Transit routes not affected by this potential labour dispute include:

  • All five Viva Rapid Transit service routes operated by Connex Canada LT
  • All 24 YRT transit routes in Markham and Whitchurch-Stouffville and 19 transit routes in Richmond Hill operated by Miller Transit Ltd.
  • All 23 YRT routes in Newmarket, Aurora, King Township, East Gwillimbury and Georgina operated by Laidlaw Transit Ltd.
  • All YRT Mobility Plus transit service
  • All 12 TTC routes operating in York Region
  • The two community bus routes in Richmond Hill and Newmarket operated by Canar / Tokmakjian under a separate contract

York Region remains optimistic that Canar / Tokmakjian Inc. and the ATU can reach a contract agreement and maintain full transit service on YRT routes in Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham and King Township.


Please see attached Media Fact Sheet for a complete listing of all 23 routes in Vaughan, Markham,  Richmond Hill and King that may be affected in the event of a labour disruption.  Please see attached Media Backgrounder for more information on York Region Transit and Viva.


For continuing updates on a possible labour disruption affecting YRT, please visit the YRT Web site at or the Regional Municipality of York Web site at


Route and fare information can also be obtained by calling the YRT Call Centre toll-free at                        

1-866-MOVE-YRT (668-3978), locally at (905) 881-5167 or TTY line at 1-866-276-7478.  Live transit updates are available weekday mornings on the A-Channel between 6:35 a.m. and 8:35 a.m.


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For more information on the Regional Municipality of York and our services, please visit


Media Contact:         Patrick Casey, Director, Corporate Communications, York Region

                                 Phone: (905) 830-4444, ext.1235 or Cell (905) 715-8211


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