Updated message about public bus service in Metro Vancouver

IMPORTANT UPDATE: TransLink bus service in Metro Vancouver is expected to be operating at normal or near-normal levels today, as the union representing bus operators and their employer (Coast Mountain Bus Company) reached a tentative collective agreement early this morning, Wednesday, November 27. We will continue to keep our members updated, as required.

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Original message follows

Dear Graduate Students:

As you may be aware, Metro Vancouver’s bus operators and mechanics are set to walk off the job on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week, unless an agreement is reached between the union and employer. If this job action occurs, we would strongly urge our members to avoid travelling to SFU — especially to Burnaby Mountain — unless their activities require them to be physically present on campus. Since SFU has provided only a limited number of additional transportation options for students, faculty, and staff, it is to be expected that moving to and from campus at this time will be slower than usual and may even become exceptionally difficult at certain times.

In spite of the best efforts of the GSS Executive Committee, SFU has not issued a directive requiring instructors to offer alternative class options (such as online delivery) or otherwise proactively accommodate transit-dependent students during a shutdown of bus service. The GSS will of course continue to push the university to offer more student-oriented solutions, especially if strike action extends beyond this week.

At this time, we regret that we must encourage individual graduate students to communicate directly with faculty to work out accommodations with respect to their academic and research endeavours. If you are experiencing difficulties in this regard, please contact the GSS Advocate at advocate@sfugradsociety.ca to see if and how he may be able to assist you.

In the meantime, SFU has a transit strike webpage with some information and TransLink provides system-wide updates and information about specific bus routes on its Alerts and Advisory page. The GSS will continue to update students on an on-going basis regarding the strike, the university’s response, and our support systems.