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Staffing changes could endanger public: bus drivers

 Sara Norman

Metro Vancouver Bus Drivers are concerned riding transit will become dangerous if TransLink goes forward with a reorganization of supervisors.

Union President Nathan Woods along with CUPE-4500, the union representing supervisors, met with the union representative for security staff at Coast Mountain Bus Company earlier this week to discuss safety concerns.

Supervisors are first responders for emergencies on buses according to Woods, who worries the changes set for this September will undermine the support system for drivers, and put riders at risk.

“Transit supervisors in Richmond and North Vancouver could be reduced to only one first responder at any given time in those regions, 24 hours a day. Right now there’s two to three,” said Woods.

If those areas have two transit emergencies at the same time, he’s concerned one will have to go unanswered.

Jiana Ling with TransLink said no jobs are being cut and supervisors are simply being moved to areas getting more service calls.

She said workers from other jurisdictions will be able to help in areas with only one person on shift. But Woods says distance is a concern, especially in larger municipalities like Richmond.

Woods also doesn’t like two safety campaigns rolled out at the end of March.

Decals directing riders to help-lines haven’t been put on buses yet, but Ling said that will happen in the next few weeks.



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