For Immediate Release
Jan. 19, 2024

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade is deeply concerned about the looming possibility of a system-wide shutdown of bus and SeaBus service next week in the Lower Mainland.

The Board of Trade, which represents more than 5,500 members across the Metro Vancouver, believes that the possible two-day transit shutdown would have significant ramifications on our local economy and negatively impact the lives of the hundreds of thousands of residents and workers who rely on transit to get to and from work.

“The importance of our regional public transportation system cannot be overstated. For many small businesses, such a significant transit disruption could make it difficult to keep the doors open if employees are unable to make it to and from work,” said Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.

CUPE Local 4500, a union representing approximately 180 Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) Transit Supervisors, has announced that they intend to escalate labour action to shut down bus service across the region beginning at 3 a.m. on Monday, January 22. If the union proceeds with job action, customers should expect a full-scale shutdown of bus and SeaBus services. The union has stated the strike will last for at least 48 hours.

“Given the potential consequences and the impasse at the bargaining table, we urge the provincial government to step in and provide the support needed to come to a fair resolution while avoiding impacts to transit users,” said Anderson.

According to the 2022 Transit Service Performance Review Translink provided 194 million trips, the 5th highest ridership of any Canadian or American metropolitan area despite having the 24th largest population. Bus service in particular is growing South of the Fraser and in many cities experiencing massive population growth.

“In our growing and land constrained region, our transportation network and transit system are critical to our economy,” noted Anderson. “Years of pandemic-induced challenges culminated in shortfalls of up to $600 million all while the ridership and population growth has blown past expectations.”

“It is troubling that at a time in which Metro Vancouver is experiencing record breaking population growth Translink is experiencing major funding shortfalls. We continue to call on the provincial and federal governments to continue to provide the funding necessary to protect and enhance growth in transit services where required.”

The union, employer, and provincial government are urged to prioritize dialogue and come to a fair resolution that safeguards the interests of workers, businesses, and that is mindful of the costs paid by residents across the region.


About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:

Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada’s leading business association, engaging members to positively impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one third of B.C.’s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through unique programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events businesses in the country, providing a platform for national and international business and thought leaders to further enlighten B.C.’s business leaders.

Media contact:
Federico Cerani
Communications Manager
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade
604-640-5454 |

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