Tentative deal reached to keep Metro Vancouver's SkyTrains running

VANCOUVER — Metro Vancouver's transit system dodged a major disruption for the second time in less than two weeks on Tuesday as a tentative agreement was reached to keep SkyTrains running.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees had threatened to shut down the Expo and Millennium lines before the morning commute if a deal wasn't reached. 

Translink spokesman Ben Murphy warned commuters to expect some delays Tuesday morning as the system was powered back up after the deal was reached shortly before 5 a.m.

In anticipation of a three-day shutdown of the two lines, the system was powered down overnight, he said.

Both sides said details of the tentative agreement will not be released until it is ratified.

Thousands of residents use the two train lines and previous disruptions for mechanical or other reasons have left long lines of people waiting for so-called bus bridges.

CUPE 7000 represents about 900 SkyTrain attendants, control operators, administration, maintenance workers and technical staff. Their contract expired Aug. 31.

A last-minute deal was also reached Nov. 27 averting a strike by bus drivers and Seabus operators in Metro Vancouver. Unifor members agreed to a three-year collective agreement with Coast Mountain Bus Company that will see wage increases of up to three per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2019.

The Canadian Press