(Black Press Media files)

TransLink to lay off nearly 1,500 workers, cut service further as ridership down 83%

Metro Vancouver transportation authority says its losing $75 million a month due to pandemic

Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority is laying off nearly 1,500 employees as it grapples with an 83 per cent drop in ridership due to COVID-19.

TransLink announced Monday it would temporarily lay off 1,492 people from both the company itself and the Coast Mountain Bus Company and British Columbia Rapid Transit Company. TransLink will also cut senior executive salaries and board remuneration by 10 per cent. The layoffs represent about 18 per cent of the three companies’ work forces, a TransLink spokesperson confirmed.

The moves come as the company said it’s losing $75 million per month as a result of the pandemic.

TransLink is cutting back on all its services, as well as deferring all planned 2020 service expansions and using its cash reserves to sustain current essential service operations till the end of 2020.

The transportation authority said it is working with the province to make sure TransLink can reverse layoffs and return to “near-regular operations” by the time school is scheduled to resume in September.

“This has been an incredibly tough decision and one we do not take lightly,” said CEO Kevin Desmond. “I fully expect those affected will be recalled once TransLink returns to regular operations, which we are now planning for back-to-school in September, if consistent with provincial guidelines.”

READ MORE: TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

READ MORE: TransLink suspending bus fares in response to COVID-19

READ MORE: TransLink asks for emergency funds, cites losses of $75 million per month amid pandemic

Routes cuts, by service:

SkyTrain

Starting on Wednesday, Expo Line capacity will be reduced by 20 per cent during peak hours, and capacity will be cut by 20 to 40 per cent the rest of the time.

Millennium Line capacity will be cut by 15 per cent during peak hours and 20 to 40 per cent the rest of the time.

This is on top of a 17 per cent reduction during peak hours and a 20 per cent reduction on Friday and Saturday evenings, which were brought in last month.

Canada Line capacity has already been reduced by 18 per cent.

Buses

TransLink is suspending 18 bus routes: 15, 32, 50, 68, 105, 131, 132, 143, 222, 480, 414, R3; most of these have other transit alternatives, the company said. The NightBus routes being suspended are the N8, N15, N17, N22, N24, N35.

Another 47 bus routes are expected to be suspended in early May, and frequency is to be reduced on many remaining routes. Expected route suspensions: 251, 252, 262, 280, 281, 282, 370, 563, 564, 044, 170, 181, 182, 231, 241, 247, 258, 345, 352, 354, 391, 393, 394, 395, 416, 509, 602, 603, 604, 606, 608, 614, 616, 617, 618, 619, 719, 722, 733, 741, 744, 748, 749, 791, 042, 150, 179.

TransLink said routes to hospitals and other healthcare facilities will be prioritized.

Physical distancing measures have already reduced the number of people who can fit on TransLink buses to 30 per cent of normal levels. Once the service cuts are brought in, that will drop to 20 per cent.

West Coast Express

Beginning Wednesday, trains one, three and five will continue to operate of existing schedules but with fewer cars. Trains two and four will remain suspended.

SeaBus

Starting Wednesday, SeaBus will end service earlier. The last sailing of the day will leave Lonsdale Quay at 7:30 p.m. and Waterfront at 7:45 a.m. Throughout the day, sailings will continue every 30 minutes.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusTransLink

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police asking for help to find 11-year-old last seen in Surrey

Shauntae Joseph has been reported missing two other times since October 2019

What June 1 will look like at Surrey schools

High school students following a ‘tutorial model’ where they sign up through a set schedule of times

Surrey addictions officials say pandemic funding is wreaking havoc on those in recovery

Governments’ kindness taking its toll, recovery operators say

Influx of cross-border visitors to Peace Arch Park sparks concern COVID-19 could spike

Police, parks officials say patrols, education and signage have all been increased

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Aldergrove zoo to reopen Monday with new COVID-19 safety measures: spokesperson

June 1 reopening to be ushered in by words from Darryl Plecas, Legislative assembly Speaker

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Langley Lodge ordered to swab all residents staff, new cases discovered

Four new cases – two residents and two staff – have been confirmed at the long-term care home

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Most Read