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Don't expect to ride SkyTrain for free if transit strike escalates

Last Updated Nov 21, 2019 at 3:53 pm PST

(Photo credit: Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)
Summary

Transit Police say safety will be their focus if tempers should run high as strike continues

Sergeant Clint Hampton says frustrated commuters still face being fined if they try to avoid paying fares

Hampton tells NEWS 1130 no major incidents have been recorded since job action started November 1

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) – Safety first. Transit Police say that will be their focus if tempers run high and Unifor picket lines go up next week.

Sergeant Clint Hampton is already expecting larger crowds at SkyTrain stations.

“We’re definitely prepared to deploy additional resources if needed. We’ll deploy them accordingly. Sure we can anticipate additional crowds, but what that’s going to look like? I don’t think we’ll really know until Wednesday.”

He says frustrated commuters still face being fined if they try to avoid paying fares because they’re late or choose that as a method of protest to support striking workers.

“The required fare is still mandatory to be on the transit system. That doesn’t change. Our primary focus is making sure people are safe. If you’re using the transit system, you still require valid fare.”

Hampton tells NEWS 1130 no major incidents have been recorded since job action started November 1, but that could change Wednesday.

“People are going to get frustrated. They get anxious and that trying to get to work on time — things like that. We are going to be out there. We want to make sure the travelling public is safe. We just aske people, please be patient. Give yourself a bit of extra time to make sure that you can make it to your destination in time.”

Hampton adds any passengers needing immediate help from Transit Police, they can call or text them at 87.77.77.

Union leaders representing approximately 5000 Coast Mountain Bus Company and SeaBus employees are planning a full-scale walkout if no deal is reached before November 27, but Translink officials say Unifor has repeatedly rejected requests for a mediator to negotiate an end to this dispute.