Transit users losing jobs, moving away as lockout drags on
Published Tuesday, November 13, 2012 6:35PM AST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 13, 2012 6:54PM AST
As the Codiac Transpo lockout approaches its sixth month in Moncton, it’s clear transit users are feeling the brunt of it.
Some people say they have lost their jobs and others have even moved away as a result of the dispute.
The city is looking at alternatives, but it’s not soon enough for many transit users, including Robert LaBounty.
The Riverview man and his seeing-eye dog, Macon, used to walk regularly at the YMCA in Moncton.
However, he says they don’t go out much since the transit lockout, which aggravates his Parkinson’s disease
“It is constantly trying to stiffen me up and diminish my stride,” he says.
LaBounty is not alone.
Claire Prevost lives on Mountain Road in Moncton but works at a grocery store in Dieppe. It takes her 45 minutes to walk to work, and with winter approaching, she is questioning if she can continue at the store.
“It has affected my foot that I broke four years ago,” she says. “So I have no choice but to quit my job, maybe even go on welfare.”
One former Moncton resident recently moved to Alberta with her two children, which she says is a direct result of the lockout.
“They eventually lost their jobs because they were far from their home. They needed the bus service, they could not bike there or walk,” said Anne Arsenault from her home in Alberta.
Karen Mellish lives about a two-hour walk from the bar she works at downtown. At times her husband can drive her, but not always.
“For a month he has been away to other people’s places, I could not even stay in my own home. It has affected me a lot,” she says.
The city has been talking about alternatives to the current system and many options are on the table, including a for-profit model.
The union has asked for binding arbitration but the city has turned down that request.
Transit user Brenda Curwin - who receives two hours worth of transportation each week through the Department of Social Development - has a message for both parties in the dispute.
“I don’t care who wins, I just want the buses back on the road.”
No new talks are scheduled at this time.
With files from CTV Atlantic's David Bell