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Routes not getting full service due to TransLink cuts: union

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Six months after TransLink cut 50,000 service hours, bus drivers are feeling the pressure, according to TransLink bus driver’s union president Nathan Woods.

Woods claims full buses pass by people every day and it’s likely going to get worse. “With the reduced service, passengers are waiting at bus stops that we’re not able to accommodate because we’re driving by full.”

He argues many routes aren’t getting full service due to the cuts.

“Friday afternoon, in Vancouver’s transit centre, there were 122 short turns alone. That’s basically transit not being able to meet it’s service deadline, which means service isn’t going to the whole route.”

Woods says short turns (where vehicles turn around before reaching the end of the route, in order to catch up with scheduled stop times) plague the bus system. He believes it’s an indicator there’s something fundamentally wrong with the system.

He adds bus drivers are looking for service to accommodate passenger needs, but he’s heard rumours more cuts are on the way.

“We’re being short turned to try and maintain schedules and that’s creating havoc with passenger relationships. Expect more pass-ups with buses going by, they’re planning on more and more cutbacks,” says Woods.

TransLink’s first-quarter report says SkyTrain service is 96 per cent on time, yet does not comment on bus time performance.