Produced by Maxim Fossey
Contract negotiations broke down the week of Oct. 10, between TransLink and the union that represents transit operators and maintenance staff.
There have been continuing talks, but no agreement has been reached yet, between Coast Mountain Bus Company and the workers’ union Unifor.
The last time a transit strike happened in Vancouver was in 2001, which left riders without service for 123 days.
Mike Smith-Cairns, an urban geography instructor at Langara, says that one of the major differences of the current strike in comparison to the 2001 one, is the increased number of transit users that it’s affecting.
“In 2001, the amount of people taking transit just wasn’t as high as it is today. It could be affecting more people this time around, just because of the amount of people using the SkyTrain, the SeaBus and all the buses as well,” Smith-Cairns said.
Smith-Cairns says that a full on bus strike much like in 2001, would definitely affect Langara, and speaks a lot to every student going to any post-secondary institution.
“It makes you rethink a lot of things in terms of how you get around. How mobile are you when you leave your house every morning when you are on your way to school,” Smith-Cairns said.
Lucy Sherlock, an Asian studies student at Langara, says that she lives 25 minutes away from the college, taking the bus and Canada Line.
“I’m in walking distance from the Canada Line, if the strike doesn’t affect the Canada Line then that would be fine, if not then I would have to get a ride from somebody,” said Sherlock.
Kai Wat, a general arts student at Langara, says that his daily commute to school is usually 30 to 45 minutes by SkyTrain.
“If I had a car, I definitely would be driving, that’s probably the alternative I would be taking.”