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El Chico905

I'm surprised there's nothing on here about this.

Durham transit workers prepared to strike News Staff

The Durham Region Transit Commission wants commuters to be prepared for a strike as early as 6 p.m. Thursday as collective agreement talks with the union representing workers have broken down.

"After 18 days at the bargaining table the parties were unable to reach a settlement," Garth Johns, commissioner of human resources, said in a news release.

Negotiations have been ongoing to hammer out a first collective agreement between the transit company and the CAW Local 22, which represents about 300 bus drivers, mechanics and cleaning staff.

A strike will keep buses idle in Pickering, Ajax, Oshawa and Clarington.

About 30,000 people use Durham transit every day.

Passengers in Whitby and Brooklin, however, will not be affected because their services are contracted out.

The CAW has handed over a list of more than 50 demands, including retiree benefits for life, cost of living adjustments and contracting out restrictions, but the commission has previously said it will not accept a collective agreement with these types of clauses.

The commission says the union demands are too expensive.

If a strike goes ahead, the transit company says it will do its best to maintain transportation for specialized services clients with medical needs.

GO buses in the region will continue.

So how is everybody perparing for the Chaos that will occur?
Expect Gridlock on Friday morning in the East-end. Is anybody taking the day off?
"About 30,000 people use Durham transit every day."

I guess 30,000 Moms will be driving their kids to school tomorrow...

From what I understand, except for Oshawa, DRT is mostly a school and GO station based service and senior shuttle. Oshawa's the only system with significant ridership outside of these areas.
It's my understanding from someone who lives out there, that the most inconvenience will be to students at the combined university and college campus in north Oshawa.
Off topic, but what's shaking at that campus? There was all the talk about this university a few years back; anything happening now?
I figure we'll hear more about UOIT when they manage to raise a few alumni and throw them out into the real world.

According to UOIT's campus map, the entire university seems to be nothing more than 3 additional academic buildings shoehorned into the Durham College campus north of Oshawa's airport. Oshawa finally got some google map coverage, but it's only part of south Whitby and south Oshawa, cutting off right at downtown. Wikipedia claims they have an enrollment of 4300, so I wonder how cramped all the facilities must be...maybe Durham College is half abandoned or virtually everyone lives nearby and spends no time on campus.
The striking workers have been purposely getting in the way of the GO buses as well. Screwing over DRT riders is not enough, they want to screw over the people who use GO as well. Maybe combining the transit systems was a bad idea after all.
Well the transit stike is almost over. 25 days of chaos. Finally our lives can return to normal.


Union set to vote on Durham transit deal News Staff

Striking workers with Durham Regional Transit are set to vote on a tentative deal Tuesday that could end the nearly month-long strike that has stranded 30,000 transit riders.

Talks resumed between the Canadian Auto Workers Local 222 and DRT last week. Over the weekend a tentative deal was struck.

Union members are expected to vote on the agreement Tuesday. If it is accepted by the CAW, Durham Regional Council members are expected to vote the next day.

If both votes ratify the agreement, buses could be rolling as early as Thursday.

While the news looked positive union officials came one step short of confirming that a tentative deal had been reached.

"After 23 hours of round-the-clock bargaining, we have closed the gap on a number of issues," Local 222 president Chris Buckley said in a written statement posted on the union's website Sunday afternoon.

"We are currently in the final stages of reviewing the offer of settlement. I'm optimistic that we will be in a position to announce a tentative agreement in the very near future."

Officials with DRT would not provide details of their offer, but chair Roger Anderson said it was a compromise by both sides.

"It gets our employees back to work," Anderson told the Toronto Star.

"It gets the residents back on the buses and hopefully it will be an arrangement that will be acceptable to the taxpayers as well."

Bus drivers, mechanics and clerical staff walked off the job on Oct. 5 in the first strike for the DRT.

The transit service was created by bringing together transit systems in Oshawa, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering and Clarington. Several collective agreements had to be combined in the amalgamation of services.

The union walked off the job over concerns related to retiree benefits, cost of living adjustments and contracting out restrictions.
Durham Region Transit

While most other places are expanding service, DRT cuts back. Should it be called DiRT?

Welcome to Roger Anderson Land.

I also note that DRT has been slow to integrate its network, unlike YRT or GRT when they merged.

Monday, December 3, 2007 - Durham Region Transit Identifies Low
Performing Routes for Service Adjustments

WHITBY, ON, December 3, 2007 - The Durham Region Transit (DRT) Executive Committee approved DRT service reductions effective January 1, 2008. DRT Staff identified low performing routes for elimination or reduced hours of operation.

"The service adjustments are directly related to performance standards, identifying poorly performing routes allows DRT to operate with efficiency", says Ted Galinis, General Manger, Durham Region Transit.

In Ajax/Pickering the M3 Amberlea (weekday mid day and Saturday), R10 and M10 Ajax and the M26 Duffins (mid day) services are withdrawn. Flag Bus 3 (weekday and Saturday) services are reduced from 10:30 to 16:30. The existing M24 Harwood route will be adjusted to provide partial service for the discontinued M26 Duffins. M7 Rosebank route will adjust to serve the Dunbarton High School

In Whitby the 302 Brock/Brooklin Sunday service will end at 22:20.

In Oshawa Route 4 College Hill and Route 5 Central Park will operate Monday to Friday rush hours only, existing weekend service will continue. The 2 King Sunday service will end at 20:20. Weekday service for Route 14 Community bus will begin at 10:50.

Regional Route 915 Taunton (Saturday) will operate hourly service until 22:00.
The real reason many routes are performing poorly is because of the incompetence of DRT. Even that press release has several spelling and grammatical errors. Pathetic.
Durham Region: Route Change Request Spark Bus War

From the Star:

Route change request sparks bus war

It's riders versus drivers as homeowner wants noisy public transit away from her lake-view home

Aug 13, 2008 04:30 AM
Be the first to comment on this article...
Carola Vyhnak
Urban Affairs Reporter

Every weekday morning Sandra Cassidy wakes up to the sound of the bus carrying her neighbours to work and school.

"It just comes roaring down the road. We can't open our windows because of the smell and noise," says the Ajax homeowner.

Over the objections of residents who rely on the service, Cassidy is lobbying Durham Region Transit to reroute the bus so it doesn't go past her grey stone house on Audley Rd. S.

"We paid a lot of money to have the only custom-built home in a very special subdivision." That included a $100,000 premium to look out over Lake Ontario. "I can't even hear the TV when a bus goes by," she adds, complaining the service was "dumped on us" without warning two years ago.

Her husband Wayne, a "well-respected" architectural technologist who designed the subdivision, has some clout with local politicians who know him through business and charity events, Cassidy says.

"Not to sound like I'm bragging or anything but we have more (influence) than the average person."

Her proposal to eliminate a two-kilometre loop has transit riders fuming. Some would have a longer walk to the bus stop, which they say poses a safety hazard in the winter. Those who live on the existing route dispute claims of excessive noise. And they argue a route change would discourage users who are trying to drive their cars less because of high gas prices and environmental concerns.

"I'm acutely aware of pollution and we're trying to limit our carbon footprint as much as possible," says Dan Dascalescu, whose wife and daughter also use the bus during their daily commute to Toronto.

If a shortcut is implemented, they'll be 600 or 700 metres from a bus stop and might be forced to drive in the winter because snow, ice and howling winds make it "unsafe to walk."

Route 222 was added as part of Durham Region's mandate to provide service within 400 metres of customers. The bus runs every half-hour during morning and afternoon rush hours, linking the subdivision with the GO station 10 kilometres away.

Cassidy believes the bus poses a safety hazard rounding the narrow corner where her house sits. It's also "mostly empty," says Cassidy, who got 75 residents around the perimeter of the loop to sign a petition to reroute the bus.

"I'm sure there are a few elderly people who want it" but everyone in the area has at least two cars, says the mother of four grown children who have left home.

Carol Weese, who has a bad hip and bought her house because of the bus service, waits to see it come down the street before going out to the stop.

"Winter is the worst concern," she says. "The sidewalks become really treacherous." If the route changed, Weese says she'd have to wait up to 10 or 15 minutes in the cold because the bus is sometimes late.

Phil Meagher, DRT's deputy general manager of operations, calls Route 222 a "good performer," averaging 34 riders per hour, compared to the standard of seven to 28.

Dismissing Cassidy's safety concern, he also says the bus creates little pollution and is no more noisy than garbage trucks and school buses.

"It's there to provide service to taxpayers," says Meagher, noting the Cassidys have been calling and emailing local politicians since spring.

The transit commission's executive committee will consider the matter at a meeting Sept. 3.

^ If she wanted to control the traffic in front of her house -- should should have bought property that had a private road. Public roads are for the public - including public vehicles like buses. Maybe if she planted more trees out front it would help :eek:

The shocking thing is that this isn't an isolated incident - there was a similiar complaint by a bunch of "concerned parents" in my neighbourhood, who thought that a bus coming by every half an hour (!! - this is the suburbs afterall) poses a clear and present danger to kids, without mentioning 1) the number of cars that uses the same route(s) and 2) the travelling speed of those said cars. Thankfully, transit turned down that request.

There is always one good way to deal with fast cars in residential zones....

Massive -- car destroying -- speed bumps....

It actually started quite by accident on the street that I was living on when I was younger -- the township came along and repaved the street, then later that year a utility came along and added pipes crossing the road in several locations.... but did a very poor job - so there were big indents that cars would get jolted by -- but it gave the area a good idea. When they fixed the road, they replaced the "drops" with massive - car underbelly scraping - speed bumps. Any car that tried to speed down that road had a nasty surprise (buses had no problem with it). Maybe if they are worried about kids, they should put in massive speed bumps for all to keep traffic slow :p
Now this is a classic "worst kind of NIMBY" case. We're talking Durham Region Transit here, one of the worst GTA agencies, so it will never be the 29 Dufferin or even a 3 Bloor. There's no reasonable alternative. If she asked for 30-foot buses instead like YRT, and dropped the "I've more influence than you, neyh-nayh" approach, it would be more reasonable.

There was one group up in North Brampton that didn't want bus service in their new, still messy subdivision, even though most non-trunk routes go deep into subdivisions, and it is local policy to serve local subdivisions. They moved the bus out, but only until construction was complete, then moved it back in, telling the NIMBYs to sit on a stick. Some residents are even successful in keeping bus service on residental streets when BT wants to move it to a more direct route.

While you'll see this attitude anywhere, it should be especially unsurprising to see this in Durham Region, where transit stinks and there are few initatives to improve it.