GRT bus drivers want say in LRT debate
Drivers with Grand River Transit say building on the existing network to create a bus rapid transit system might be a better first step than light rail transit (LRT).
Driver Ron Penner says ‘They're expecting to drive ridership when they put [the LRT] in. I think they should get ridership up and create the demand for something like that."
But drivers say they weren't consulted, and the union claims it didn't start discussions with members on a bus rapid transit system (BRT) because it lacked information the LRT.
Monica Menner is the chief steward for CAW Local 4304, she says "we had to actively seek out [LRT] information from management, that's why there's a delay in us discussing it."
The Region of Waterloo disputes claims that the union wasn't consulted, saying both the CAW and the public were consulted over the last four to five years.
Thomas Schmidt, commissioner of transportation and environmental services, says "There have been numerous opportunities through open houses, public meetings for CAW to be involved."
He says the region has provided the union with information on the LRT and BRT options they are pursuing, and they are still open to input on rapid transit from the CAW.
Menner says she can't "confirm or deny" claims that discussions on a BRT system are tied to the drivers' union's preparations to renew its contract with the region.