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TransLink offering bus bridge for Friday evening SeaBus commuters

Commuters who will be facing numerous SeaBus trip cancellations Friday afternoon and night may want to take advantage of a bus bridge service being offered by TransLink.
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 TransLink is offering a bus bridge to help move commuters across the Burrard Inlet while the SeaBus has numerous sailing cancellations due to the ongoing transit strike. SeaBus. TransLink/Facebook

Commuters who will be facing numerous SeaBus trip cancellations Friday afternoon and night may want to take advantage of a bus bridge service being offered by TransLink.

TransLink announced Friday afternoon they would be implementing the bus bridge with service connecting Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver and Waterfront Station in Vancouver from 5:45 to 9:45 p.m. Friday.

Pickup from Waterfront will be on West Cordova Street outside of Waterfront Station. Pickup from Lonsdale Quay will be at a special stop in the Chadwick Court Loop.  It will be a regular one-zone fare to board.

The SeaBus will remain in operation during that time, however it is running at a reduced schedule due to the ongoing job action by Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) employees represented by Unifor.

TransLink has cancelled the following SeaBus sailings for Friday, Nov. 8:

  • Departing Lonsdale Quay cancelled sailings: 4:10 p.m., 6:47 p.m., 7:17 p.m., 7:47 p.m., 8:17 p.m., and 8:47 p.m.
  • Departing Waterfront Station cancelled sailings: 4:25 p.m., 7:01 p.m., 7:31 p.m., 8:01 p.m., 8:31 p.m., 9:01 p.m.

Earlier this week, Ben Murphy, Senior Media Relations Officer, TransLink, told Vancouver Is Awesome in an email that the SeaBus isn’t permitted to sail without a minimum number of crew on board  as required by Transport Canada.

Since there is a shortage of skilled workers who can operate the SeaBus, the transit authority knows in advance of how many sailings will be cancelled. If someone is sick or on vacation, it relies on ‘flexible shifts who can cover absences.’

The initial phase of the strike action began on Nov. 1 at 8 a.m., with operators not wearing their CMBC uniforms and maintenance workers not doing overtime.

On Thursday, TransLink cancelled several trips on numerous bus lines; on Friday morning alone there were 25 bus lines serving Metro Vancouver that saw trip cancellations due to the job action.

Unifor has indicated they are prepared to escalate the job action, including implementing an overtime ban for bus operators. Doing so would bring down an estimated 10-15% of operations for TransLink.

As of Friday evening, TransLink says there are no scheduled SeaBus cancellations for Saturday. Riders are urged to check with TransLink on Twitter or their Alerts page for updates.

With files from Elana Shepert