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Union leader hopeful bus drivers are being protected during COVID pandemic

Last Updated Mar 25, 2020 at 5:49 am PDT

A TransLink trolley bus, operated by Coast Mountain Bus Company, in downtown Vancouver on a rainy November morning in 2019. (Source: Monika Gul/NEWS 1130)

Bus drivers are concerned with the lack of social distancing every day on the job

The head of the Bus Drivers Union tells us that some members are in self-isolation due to the spread of COVID-19

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – For those who need to take the bus every day, there’s always going to be some level of discomfort, as it’s sometimes not easy to properly keep enough space between fellow passengers amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic.

That extends to the bus drivers too.

Balbir Mann is the head of the Bus Driver’s Union – Unifor 111.

He says they’re doing what they can to keep their fleet of vehicles tidy.

“The disposable gloves, the alcohol wipes, the sanitizers, they (TransLink, CMBC) have been ordering and getting us supplies.”

Mann says it’s been a little harder to get a hold of safety masks, given the demand for those worldwide, but he’s appreciated the response from the transit authority and the Coast Mountain Bus Company.

According to the Unifor head, there are some bus drivers in social isolation as they recover, but the concern and the message to the public – as well as those behind the wheel on your commute – remain the same.

“We recommend if you’re sick, please stay home. If you don’t have to go out, don’t go out, and wash your hands regularly.”

Disinfecting of the buses take place on a regular basis – three days a week, according to Unifor.

The Union is also discussing things regularly with the CMBC as the days roll along, and service has been scaled back in some cases.

“We will not jeopardize our member’s safety at any cost.” Mann maintains. “We are really keeping our eye on social distancing.”