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Union Station strikers block GO buses in Toronto: Metrolinx

Click to play video: 'Rail workers’ strike hits Union Station corridor'
Rail workers’ strike hits Union Station corridor
WATCH: For the first time in Union Station’s 95-year history, signal and communication maintenance workers have gone on strike. As Seán O’Shea reports, the strike has the potential to affect commuter rail schedules in Canada’s busiest transit hub. – Apr 20, 2022

Striking workers picketing outside Union Station bus terminal are blocking buses from entering or leaving the building, according to provincial transit agency Metrolinx.

A spokesperson for Metrolinx, which operates GO Transit’s bus and rail service, said train schedules were uninterrupted but Toronto GO bus routes were impacted by the strike.

“The TTR (Toronto Terminals Railway) protestors have just arrived at Union Station Bus Terminal again and blocking our GO buses,” Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told Global News.

Buses were blocked Saturday, causing travel disruption after the Toronto Raptors’ playoff game wrapped up.

Read more: Mechanical-related congestion at Toronto’s Union Station made worse by strike, Metrolinx says

GO buses have made an “operational adjustment” to bus routes serving Union Station bus terminal. Instead of entering the building to pick up and drop off passengers, they will be serving alternative “transit hubs” in the area.

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This means GO buses will serve different stops where customers can connect to Union Station through another mode of transit.

For example, the Hamilton-Toronto Express will begin and end at Port Credit GO in Mississauga, where riders can switch to the Lakeshore West GO line to complete their journey.

GO Bus routes 16, 18, 21 and 31 will all begin and end at Port Credit GO. Routes 65, 71 and 90 will begin and end at Jane and Highway 407, where passengers will have to switch to the subway to finish their journey to Union Station.

Riders who switch from a GO Bus to a Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) service should not tap their Presto cards again, Metrolinx said.

“We appreciate this alternative plan is not as convenient for our customers but we are doing whatever we can to get them to their destination safely and efficiently, and appreciate their patience and understanding,” Aikins said.

The picketing comes as 95 workers with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers continue to strike after the union and TTR failed to reach an agreement by 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

Read more: No GO train delays at Toronto’s Union Station during morning commute despite strike

The workers are mainly responsible for signals and communication maintenance as well as train control at the Union Station rail corridor. They work on the movement of freight and passenger trains.

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The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) said in a statement Wednesday that the union remains committed to working with the company to reach a fair and reasonable settlement.

“The company has refused to negotiate seriously with the union to add or modify improvements that would stand a chance of ratification,” said Steve Martin, a senior general chairman for IBEW.

TTR said the workers have been without a new contract since December 2019.

Metrolinx said it continues to monitor the strike action and how it might impact its passengers.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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