ATU Canada calls on Metrolinx to reverse irresponsible cuts


TORONTO – ATU Canada is calling on Metrolinx to reverse its latest 15% service cut announced today, calling it “irresponsible, unacceptable and an affront to both transit workers and transit riders.”

In an announcement earlier today, Metrolinx announced that it was cutting 15% of its service as a result of absenteeism due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and continued low ridership levels. The cuts will affect the entire service.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, ATU Canada has worked with other organizations and activists across Canada to try and secure permanent operational funding for public transit. They were victorious at the end of 2020 when governments awarded emergency Safe Restart funding but say more funding is needed. They say that now is not the time to cut transit services but to expand and strengthen public transit to ensure the safety of drivers and riders as well as the survival of our public transit system post-pandemic.

“If Metrolinx truly cared about protecting the health and safety of transit riders and maintaining reliable and predictable services they would not be resorting to service cuts.” Said John Di Nino, President of ATU Canada. “Other municipalities and transit authorities like Brampton and Mississauga have navigated this type of situation without measures like this; this isn’t a necessity, Metrolinx is choosing service cuts.”

Cuts to service have not made transit safer and have instead led to more overcrowded buses and trains, making it more difficult to socially distance and leading to easier transmission of the virus.

“Instead of cutting service, Metrolinx should work with ATU Canada, along with numerous public interest groups to advocate for more operational funding from different levels of government.” Said Di Nino. “With sustainable and much needed funding, they would not be in the mess they’re in or putting our most vulnerable transit riders at risk.”


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Sam Hersh

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