York BRT employees vote to accept offer and return to work; Viva service starts February 4
NEWMARKET - The Regional Municipality of York is pleased to advise residents that free YRT/Viva service for a minimum of one month on all routes is coming soon to help transition riders back onto transit in York Region.
Operators and mechanics employed by York BRT Services, operator of five Viva routes in York Region, voted today to accept a new four-year collective agreement with their employer. Reintroduction of Viva routes is expected to begin Saturday, February 4.
“Today’s vote is a win for both the riders who will see Viva service restored and the operators who return to work with a fair offer,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “We will be restoring service and introducing free transit as soon as possible to recognize the hardship riders have faced over this lengthy dispute. We are on our way to a full service restoration in York Region.”
York Regional Council today awarded a new operations and maintenance contract to TOK Transit Limited for the operation of YRT/Viva’s North Division starting February 4 with a complete phased-in return of service over the coming weeks.
Miller Transit and ATU Local 1587 resumed talks today following ongoing negotiations this week. The 51 YRT/Viva routes operated in the Southeast Division currently remain unavailable.
The Region will provide additional service resumption details as they become available, including the start date of the minimum one month free service period.
The YRT/Viva strike began October 24, 2011 between ATU Local 1587, ATU Local 113 and YRT/Viva contracted operators Miller Transit, First Canada and York BRT Services. York Region does not have the contractual right to order the parties to arbitration in this dispute, and Regional Council has been clear in its position not to request back-to-work legislation from the Provincial Government or support binding arbitration as a means to end the YRT/Viva strike.
YRT/Viva continues to assist transit riders with travel options through the Customer Service Centre at 1-866-MOVE-YRT (668-3978). Ongoing updates are available on www.yrt.ca
Residents can also follow York Region on Twitter @YorkRegionGovt and Facebook www.facebook.com/YorkRegion
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Media Contact: Kim MacGillivray, Corporate Communications, York Region
1-877-464-9675, ext. 1209 • Cell: 905-251-6412 • firstname.lastname@example.org