Archway Community Services is calling for an urgent resolution to the Fraser Valley Transit Strike.
“The appointment of mediator Vince Ready on June 8th was welcome news, but we are concerned there haven’t been any updates since mediation began.” said Archway CEO, Rod Santiago.
“We call on both parties to use this opportunity to negotiate a successful contract.
“Reliable and affordable public transportation is critical for our community’s health and wellbeing.
“Three months is far too long to have this strike drag on and every day is further hurting transit users, including many of the most vulnerable in our community.
“Seniors, students, newcomers, those with disabilities and low-income families are among those that are hardest hit, with few alternatives that work for their budget.
“We’re hearing from seniors experiencing increased isolation and loneliness which has been significantly impacting their mental health and well-being. Clients aren’t able to pick up their food bank hampers or travel to work, which puts them even further behind.
“Youth and newcomers are having difficulty getting to school and there are adult learners falling asleep in their English classes because they’re so tired from working overtime to pay for the increased transportation costs.”
The Foundry Abbotsford youth health centre, run by Archway, has also seen a drop in the number of youth accessing mental and physical health services in-person.
“When youth, and others who rely on public transportation, are delaying medical care they’re being denied equal access to healthcare,” said Simone Maassen, Archway Manager of Youth & Health Services.
Archway staff are doing what they can to provide virtual services, delivery and rides to clients during the strike.
“Important services like public transportation need to be maintained and we ask the BC government to continue to have an active role in ensuring these negotiations are successful,” said Santiago.
A level 4 Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) class, many of whom are affected by the Transit Strike .