VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Did someone forget to tell TransLink that a strike involving bus and SeaBus workers wasn’t going ahead?
That’s what it almost seemed like early Wednesday morning when, hours after the strike was averted with a last-minute deal between Unifor and Coast Mountain Bus Company, the transit authority’s Next Bus SMS service was telling transit users that buses weren’t operating.
No strike action! Bus and SeaBus service is running today after a last-minute deal was reached between @UniforTheUnion and Coast Mountain Bus Company early this morning. But when you text @TransLink to find out when your next bus is coming, it says buses aren’t running. @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/0PMVJFRzLg
— Monika Gul (@MonikaGul) November 27, 2019
The free service allows riders to find out when their bus is coming by texting 33333 with the bus stop number and bus route number. Instead of getting bus times, riders got a text that read, “Buses are not operating today (Nov. 27, 28 and 29) due to job action.”
Yesterday there was notification that there isn’t any bus service for the next 3 days.I’m not seeing that now. Are buses running today?
— mknorske (@mknorske) November 27, 2019
@TransLink any idea when the “text your bus stop, find out when next bus is due” system will be back up and running? It still says work stoppage.
— Laird Cossar (@countkarma) November 27, 2019
@TransLink do you know how long before I can text my bus times again
— Christina-Ann West (@countrytina07) November 27, 2019
Some transit users noticed the mistake, prompting some confusion as they tweeted TransLink to ask whether buses were actually running and when the Next Bus SMS service would once again provide bus information.
@translink Is your texting service updated? I see buses running but I keep getting message that buses are not operating
— Ֆɦɑɗəƶ (@Shadez0fMe) November 27, 2019
Glad @translink IS NOT on a system wide bus shutdown – could someone tell next next bus service that – get message there is a 'bus not operating…due to job action' – so confused & hope it gets figured out for commute home
— AM Friesen (@amfriesen) November 27, 2019
@TransLink hello, when will the texting for bus times work ?
— Lilian (@nganbread) November 27, 2019
Without saying why exactly the texts were sending false information, TransLink said it was working to “restore full functionality of the texting service” and by 6:30 a.m., after several hours of incorrect texts, the Next Bus SMS service was once again providing bus information.
Unifor — which represents bus drivers, SeaBus operators, and maintenance workers — and Coast Mountain Bus Company reached the tentative agreement at 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, avoiding a three-day shutdown of buses and SeaBuses and ending job action that began at the start of the month with a uniform and overtime ban by some workers.