Unifor celebrates doubling of bus service for Durham Region Transit passengers by 2032

Main Image
Durham Regional Transit bus

OSHAWA— Unifor members at Durham Region Transit (DRT) are celebrating the announcement that Durham Region will more than double bus service provided by the transit authority over the next decade.

“Our union has diligently worked to expand public transit and are pleased to see Durham Region’s decision to dramatically increase funding to support public transit service and infrastructure,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “This is good news for our members and for the community."

The approved ten-year plan will increase service hours by 127% by 2032. Currently, Durham Region Transit provides 550,000 hours of service to Durham Region’s population. With a series of budget increases, the public will see an additional 650,000 hours of service, coupled with an added 275 buses operating in the region. The transit plan also includes capital investment directed towards the electrification of the fleet and the construction of new terminals. 

Jeff Gray, Unifor Local 222 President and Ian Sinnott, Unifor Durham Region Transit Chair appeared in council chambers twice during the budget debates to speak to the requirement of segments of the workforce that rely on public transportation and the need to ensure no worker is marginalized by their inability to get to work and back. 

“Reliable, sustainable transportation removes barriers to access work,” said Gray. “Investment in quality public transit helps create equitable, vibrant cities.”

The 2023 budget includes $87.9 million of capital investment, including $35.4 million for 22 growth battery electric buses and ancillary equipment for delivery by 2025.

The updates will result in approximately 500 new full-time bargaining unit positions at DRT, which will bring Unifor’s total unit membership to over 1,200.Unifor was also able to bring back work in-house for 35 full-time positions, previously done by a lower-paying service provider.

“Increased funding is a win-win with better service to the public while also providing good stable jobs in the community,” said Sinnott. 

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Director Kathleen O’Keefe at @email or 416-896-3303 (cell).

Media Contact

Kathleen O'Keefe

National Communications Director