UPDATED: Extensive cuts to SeaBus service on Monday and Tuesday cancelled

Nov 17 2019, 10:56 am

Update: TransLink has just announced that contrary to their earlier announcement, eight SeaBus sailing cancellations will take place this afternoon, in addition to the four that occurred this morning.

The following afternoon sailings on Monday, November 18 have been cancelled:

  • 4 pm, 6 pm, 7:32 pm, and 8:47 pm from Lonsdale Quay are cancelled
  • 4:15 pm, 6:15 pm, 7:46 pm, and 9:01 pm sailings from Waterfront have been cancelled

TransLink has provided an update informing the public that SeaBus service cancellations announced Sunday morning for Monday and Tuesday will not be going ahead.

“This means service will not be operating on the schedule distributed this morning. The staffing shortage  issue behind the cancellations has been resolved,” reads the update.

Instead, SeaBus service disruptions on both days will be limited to four sailing cancellations on Monday:

  • 7:20 am and 9 am from Lonsdale Quay
  • 7:35 am and 9:15 am from Waterfront

ORIGINAL STORY:

Expect the most significant service disruptions yet to SeaBus since the labour action of 5,000 transit workers in Metro Vancouver began more than two weeks ago.

TransLink is warning sailing frequencies will see major cuts on Monday, November 18 and Tuesday, November 19, with labour action reducing frequencies to just 30 minutes throughout most of both weekdays.

This is the expected service schedule:

  • 6 am to 9 am — 15-minute service
  • 9 am to 3 pm — 30-minute service
  • 3 pm to 9 pm — 15-minute service
  • 9 pm to end of service — 30-minute service

The public transit authority says the exact sailing times will be different when SeaBus moves to this new schedule. A bus bridge shuttle service will also be implemented between Waterfront Station and Lonsdale via the Lions Gate Bridge, but TransLink warns it will not match SeaBus capacity.

These are essentially the equivalent of SeaBus’ operating frequencies on Saturdays, when it sees 17,000 average daily boardings. On weekdays, SeaBus sees 19,700 average daily boardings.

Additionally, bus services will see the second day of weekday service reductions; TransLink says passengers can expect a 10% reduction in service on Monday.

Unifor’s overtime ban on bus drivers went into effect on Friday, adding another layer to labour action that already entails an overtime ban on maintenance workers and a ban on uniforms.

TransLink subsidiary Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) and Unifor briefly resumed negotiations last Thursday, but talks quickly fell apart, leading to the escalation of job action of bus drivers the next day.

CMBC says the union rejected its offer of increasing the top annual wage for bus drivers by about $6,100 over four years, bringing their annual salary to $69,900 after two years of employment. For skilled trades workers, their top annual wages would increase by about $10,000 to bring their annual salary to $88,000.

The public transit authority maintains their rejected increases outpace other public sector settlements in the province, and that meeting the union’s complete demands would necessitate in raising fares and taxes and cutting back on service expansion plans amidst rapidly growing ridership. Over 10 years, the union’s plan would cost about $700 million.

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