After receiving a third strike notice from the drivers’ union for Saturday Dec. 18 and Sunday Dec. 19, the Société de transport de Laval (STL) said it asked the union to provide at least minimum service to the public.
The STL said its request was rejected by the union and that it regretted the union’s decision to leave Laval residents without any public transit for the weekend before the Christmas holidays.
“This decision needlessly hurts transit users,” the transit agency said in a statement. “Not to mention local businesses that will inevitably suffer the consequences of this lack of transit service. The STL still believes in reaching a settlement through negotiations, not through actions that hurt transit users.”
STL management noted that public transit has been severely impacted by the pandemic, resulting in a significant drop in ridership and a considerable decline in revenues for the entire Montreal metropolitan region. They said that in Laval as of last week, ridership had returned to about 65 per cent of the 2019 level.
The STL said that as it continues to navigate challenging financial times, it just recently renewed collective agreements with the maintenance and clerical workers’ unions. They said the overall proposal made to the bus drivers’ union “is fair and comparable to those agreements,” according to the STL.
Last weekend, no STL bus was running in Laval as of 4 a.m. Saturday until service resumed at 4 a.m. Monday December 20. The following routes were also cancelled:
- 360 shuttle bus to downtown Laval
- Illumi shuttle bus
- Place Bell shuttle bus
However, the STL said there was no impact to regular service which was being maintained on the following services:
- All shared taxi routes
- Paratransit service
They said delays were to be expected as there would probably be an increase in ridership.