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People with disabilities, homeless 'scared and nervous' in face of transit strike

Last Updated Oct 29, 2019 at 8:12 pm PDT

Summary

Vulnerable groups are feeling 'scared and nervous,' and without options in face of a transit strike

Missed medical appointments are just one of the concerns top of mind for many people in Metro Vancouver

The union has said at this stage, a full work stoppage has been ruled out, and HandyDART service won't be effected

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Transit users with no other options are concerned about pending job by bus drivers action across Metro Vancouver.

Some people who are homeless and those with mobility issues fear they won’t have other options if buses stop running in light of a possible strike by Coast Mountain bus drivers on Friday.

Jeremy Hunka with Union Gospel Mission says shelter visitors are already asking questions about what might happen later this week.

“How am I going to get to my doctor? How am I going to get to work? How am I going to get to my housing appointment? Almost half of the homeless population in Vancouver is dealing with a medical condition or an illness,” he says.

“And if there’s no transit, it’ll be so difficult for them to get to the doctor or to work through that condition that they’re struggling with. People are scared – I guess, on pins and needles, to put it mildly.”

RELATED: Transit job action, strike possible as early as Friday

Justina Loh, Executive Director of Disability Alliance of BC, says most clients hope a deal is reached before any service is disrupted.

“People are scared and nervous and they don’t want it to happen and they really rely on public transportation to get around,” she says.

That’s because making other arrangements can be difficult.

“They don’t have access to a car and because of their mobility issues or their disability, they can’t even drive,” she says.

The union has said at this stage, a full work stoppage has been ruled out.

HandyDART service won’t be effected as workers belong to a different union.