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The president of British Columbias largest union calls Translinks recent announcement to privatize bus maintenance in North Burnaby fiscally irresponsible and warns the public of this newest threat to drivers and transit users in the Lower Mainland.

Barry ONeill, President of the B.C. Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, says that even without the legal cost that Translink is incurring in response to the challenges launched by all of the Unions representing transit workers in the Lower Mainland, the fragmenting of transit maintenance service will end up being more costly for taxpayers and users.

ONeill goes on to say, Turning over the maintenance of transit vehicles to Bonnys Taxis subjects Lower Mainland drivers and transit users to unnecessary safety risks that will arise from maintenance that cant possibly be done at the same level as the Coast Mountains garages which have mechanics trained at the factory and have been servicing the transit vehicles for years.

John Holt, President of CUPE Local 4500 (Transit Supervisor and Shop Foreman) says, The transit system has all it can do to cope with an aging fleet and ridership growth and this decision will put more strain/pressure on our members and transit drivers as they try to get people to work and home during peak hours, when there are few or no back-up transit vehicles.

Holt also says that all of the transit unions are committed to fighting this latest attempt by Translink to break-up the bus system because of the threat it poses to their members as well as the public.

For more information:
Barry ONeill, (604) 916-8444
John Holt, (604) 250-2357