GRT monthly passes auto-renewed as commuters continue to struggle with strike
KITCHENER -- Despite no buses being on the road in Waterloo Region, Grand River Transit monthly passes have auto-renewed for some riders.
No resolution is in sight as the GRT strike entered its fifth day on Saturday.
Dozens of employees picketed at multiple locations in the afternoon as the Region of Waterloo decided to auto-renew EasyGO fare cards.
“We did a reminder to riders because of the service disruption,” said Peter Zinck, director of transit services for the region. “If they want to turn it off they should do that.”
Users are still able to use their passes for the LRT.
“That is wrong,” said Naomi Barnes, a rider affected by the strike. “If you are not offering the service you should not be billing someone for the service that you are not offering.”
Zinck adds that the region will have an announcement about refunds after the conclusion of the strike.
The region says no talks with the union have been scheduled.
Commuter Tim Mollision has been renting a car to drive his partner Rolando Bencosme to work during the strike.
“It is definitely a wrench in our routine,” he said. “We are putting 95-110 kilometres on this vehicle.”
Mollision says he has to make up hours at his office at least one day a week because he is leaving before his work day is over to drive.
“I don’t feel like I have to option to just leave work when I’m done,” said Bencosme.
Another commuter tells CTV Kitchener they had to cut their grocery budget because they are paying $100 a week to take a cab to work and would lose their job if they didn’t.