Vancouver's TransLink cuts service, staff, executive salaries

News Wire Digest for April 21: New cuts for Atlanta's MARTA; MTA, worker refute call to close New York subways
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Tuesday morning rail news:

— Vancouver, British Columbia, transit agency Translink is laying off 1,500 workers, cutting executive pay and reducing services as it attempts to deal with losses of $2.5 million a day because of the coronavirus pandemic. Executives and members of the board of directors will take 10% pay cuts, the Vancouver Sun reports, while the layoffs represent about 25% of transit operators and about 18% of the maintenance staff. SkyTrain service will be reduced from 15 to 40 percent, depending on the line and time of day, while 18 bus lines will be shut down, with another 47 facing cuts in May. Commuter railroad West Coast Express, which has cut from five round trips to three, will run shorter trains. These changes follow prior cuts that began in March.

— The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority is making significant reductions in service as of today, switching rail service to a weekend schedule and shutting down all but 41 bus lines. Rail service will begin at 5 a.m. and operate on 20-minute headways, with Red Line trains shortening their route after 9 p.m. Green Line trains will also run on a shorter route. Details are available here.

— A call to shut down New York City’s subway service because of the COVID-19 pandemic was quickly refuted by the MTA and its transit workers. In a statement to amNewYork, the MTA said a shutdown “would be dangerous and could lead to even more deaths. … We are making it possible for doctors, nurses, first responders, grocery and pharmacy workers, and other essential personnel to get to work and save lives.” Transport Workers Union President John Samuelsen had previously voiced similar sentiments, saying “we are the system that gets the blue-callar responders to the front lines with this battle.” Four members of the New York City Council had called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to shut down the subways, saying they were aiding in the spread of the virus [see “NJ Transit’s rail manager dies from coronavirus,” News Wire Digest, April 19, 2020].





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