Bus service is returning to normal this week as B.C. Transit mechanics catch up with repairs to dozens of broken-down buses.
Nine trips were cancelled Tuesday as a result of maintenance and staffing issues, said B.C. Transit spokeswoman Meribeth Burton.
That’s a vast improvement from the 65 or so runs cancelled during and following the recent job action by the transit workers’ union.
“We’re getting a handle on it,” Burton said.
Six new mechanics have been hired and one is returning after time off, so the number at Victoria’s two maintenance yards will be 40 by the end of March, Burton said.
Mechanics were working overtime before the job action began and the workload increased in the subsequent weeks.
“We’re still in the neighbourhood of 40 buses parked that have eight hours or more of work to be done on them,” she said.
B.C. Transit has offered mechanics up to 70 hours overtime each day to deal with the backlog.
“Our mechanics have been working as hard as they can to get us up to full service,” she said.
It will be still a few weeks before B.C. Transit will guarantee regular service, Burton said.
The number of riders dropped recently mainly because of the cut runs, she said, but ridership has returned to near normal levels over the past week.
“We believe the more reliable service we’re putting out there, the stronger our riders are coming back,” Burton said.
— Times Colonist
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