Welcome Guest! In order to take advantage of all the great features that Waterloo Region Connected has to offer, including participating in the lively discussions below, you're going to have to register. The good news is that it'll take less than a minute and you can get started enjoying Waterloo Region's best online community right away. Click here to get started.


Thread Rating:
  • 2 Vote(s) - 4.5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Grand River Transit
Whew. I hope this one's accepted, I'd hate to see the disruption this would cause. (Then again, letting people see that disruption firsthand would help cement how important transit is.)
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
Reply
I was going to try out taking the bus+bike to work this week, but this whole strike thing isn't helping to convince me I should give it a go.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Reply
"Then again, letting people see that disruption firsthand would help cement how important transit is."

I think that's optimistic. The effect of the LTC strike seemed to be increased animosity towards the system, and an increased attitude that it could not be relied on. I know that in London at that time, a lot of people took permanent travel decisions (I mean like buying a car) during or soon after the strike.

Fingers crossed that this deal is accepted and we don't need to go through a service disruption.
Reply
Quote:GRT Union Members Ratify New Deal; Strike Averted
April 3, 2017
KITCHENER – Members of Unifor Local 4304, more than 600 transit workers with Grand River Transit, ratified a new contract today, averting a strike in Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge later this week.

“The bargaining committee worked day and night through the weekend to bring the membership a new contract that addressed their major concerns,” said Jenny Ahn, Assistant to National President Jerry Dias.
Unifor Local 4304 President Rick Lonergan said the deal is good for both the public and the workers at Grand River Transit.
“With this deal, Unifor helped to ensure that safer buses are on the streets for both the drivers and the public,” Lonergan said.
The new collective agreement with Grand River Transit establishes improved safety procedures, recognized maintenance protocols, a trial process for driver shields
on new buses, and other improvements. It also contains improved discipline procedures to ensure greater fairness for workers and wage increases of 1.5, 1.75 and 2 per cent over a three-year contract.

“The drivers have done their part to address the financial challenges facing the region,” Ahn said. “Now the real work begins for the employer to resolve the serious cost issues it faces elsewhere.”
An initial strike deadline set for 5a.m. today was moved to 5a.m. Wednesday, April 5 after a tentative deal was reached Sunday afternoon. Talks with the Region began in December 2016. Unifor Local 4304 represents transit operators, service attendants and skilled trades workers at Grand River Transit.
“Safety and fairness were our primary concerns going into these talks, and the union is pleased with the progress made to achieve those goals,” said Unifor National Representative Tim Mitchell.
Reply
Of note, new buses will now feature shields between the drivers and the rest of the bus.
Reply
I just got this hilarious mental image of the Lexan "blast shields" that the folks in the woodwinds section of the KSO have with the brass right behind them. Makes me laugh every time.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
Reply
I find that really disappointing. Is the job really risky enough to justify that? Is Waterloo Region really that dangerous? The riding experience will really be altered with the introduction of plexiglass bubbles separating the driver from the clientele.

In Winnipeg, there are calls for those kinds of shields after a recent murder of a bus driver, and an uptick in the rate (I can't remember from what to what) of assaults on drivers. Are issues like that significant here? Or are some folks just watching too much CNN?
Reply
It's going to create a different experience, for sure. To me, yes, it will make it a less pleasant interaction with the driver. But if they are the ones feeling unsafe, I have to want them to feel safe in the end. On the perhaps plus side, it should make it too impossible for the bus-driver-conversationalist to carry on a chat with the driver, preventing them from blocking access to the bus as I've often run into.
Reply
No more bus-driver-conversationalists...imagine the drivers losing the ability to chat with anyone over the course of an entire shift...

I just noticed, though, that it says "trial process." I wonder what that means, but assume there will be some information gathering from drivers and riders alike at some point. No harm in trying it out to see how it improves drivers' feelings of safety versus their and riders' experiences.
Reply
(04-04-2017, 08:38 AM)MidTowner Wrote: I find that really disappointing. Is the job really risky enough to justify that? Is Waterloo Region really that dangerous? The riding experience will really be altered with the introduction of plexiglass bubbles separating the driver from the clientele.

In Winnipeg, there are calls for those kinds of shields after a recent murder of a bus driver, and an uptick in the rate (I can't remember from what to what) of assaults on drivers. Are issues like that significant here? Or are some folks just watching too much CNN?

Are we that dangerous, no.  Could we be, yes.

As much as I don't support the bubble, I can't support a "wait until a driver is murdered" before we react.

Coke
Reply
Buses in Toronto have these.

It's up to the driver if they close it; they can secure it in the open position if they wish. It's often left open in quiet midday periods, for example, but will be closed after dark, in particular neighbourhoods, or when carrying rowdier groups like sports fans or high schoolers.
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
Reply
Coke6pk, I am quite sure you couldn't have read my comment as a suggestion that we "wait until a driver is murdered"...I'm comparing the safety concerns in a jurisdiction that has experienced actual violence, with what actually happens here, where you say the situation isn't dangerous, but "could be."

KevinL, thanks for the info about the configuration of these barriers in Toronto.
Reply
(04-04-2017, 08:08 PM)MidTowner Wrote: Coke6pk, I am quite sure you couldn't have read my comment as a suggestion that we "wait until a driver is murdered"...I'm comparing the safety concerns in a jurisdiction that has experienced actual violence, with what actually happens here, where you say the situation isn't dangerous, but "could be."

KevinL, thanks for the info about the configuration of these barriers in Toronto.

I'm not putting those words into your mouth by any means... however, some employers are very reactive as opposed to being proactive, and I'm glad GRT took the correct route.

Coke
Reply
Since it's a "pilot," I can't do anything but agree with you that putting this thing on trial and seeing what the impacts are is the correct route. Introducing something as drastic as a plexiglass shield separating drivers from their clients without even consulting the clients wouldn't be. But I'm assuming that there will be an opportunity to voice concerns about the shields before they're adopted wholesale, if there are any concerns.
Reply
(04-05-2017, 04:13 PM)MidTowner Wrote: Since it's a "pilot," I can't do anything but agree with you that putting this thing on trial and seeing what the impacts are is the correct route. Introducing something as drastic as a plexiglass shield separating drivers from their clients without even consulting the clients wouldn't be. But I'm assuming that there will be an opportunity to voice concerns about the shields before they're adopted wholesale, if there are any concerns.

Why should riders be consulted about this? This is about the safety of drivers. 

Verbal assaults and spitting on drivers is real. It does happen in this Region, and they should be treated as seriously as the more aggressive behaviours. And I can imagine drivers feeling especially vulnerable during the last bargaining process + constant strike threats... Anything to make their job comfortable. 

I don't see how passengers can be negatively affected by this at all. A driver's job is to drive a bus, not chatting with passengers. It's not like you can't ask drivers questions anymore (while bus is stopped) - they can still hear you over the plexiglass...

And besides, nobody should be talking while the bus is moving anyways, it's distracting.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 2 Guest(s)