Calgary HandiBus employees joining Calgary Transit family
Calgary HandiBus will now be operating under Calgary Transit’s Access Calgary following a successful union ratification vote.
The City of Calgary and ATU Local 583 have been in negotiations over the past few months regarding the future of HandiBus operations. The decision to transfer bus operations to Calgary Transit comes after a recent independent study commissioned by HandiBus found its current business model for operating buses is unsustainable.
The union voted 93 per cent in favour of having HandiBus operators and support staff join the City of Calgary during the Tuesday, May 5 ratification vote.
The transition of operations is still being finalized but is expected to begin during summer.
Customers can be assured their service won’t be affected, says Director of Calgary Transit Doug Morgan.
“We are looking forward to having the HandiBus operators become Calgary Transit employees and to continue delivering great accessible service to the citizens of Calgary,” said Morgan.
“This will provide even more focus on delivering high-quality accessibility on all Calgary Transit services. Customers will continue to receive the same excellent service.”
Access Calgary is already the first point of contact for customers with disabilities who require service. It will continue serving the city’s 15,000 registered customers.
“I am pleased that the Union was able to negotiate an agreement with The City that will see members of the Union become City employees and continue having members serve customers,” said Rick Ratcliff, President of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 583.
Calgary HandiBus will continue as a registered charity with its focus on raising funds to purchase buses to help provide special needs transportation services to the community, said Calgary HandiBus Chairman Jim Brown.
“First and foremost, we are happy that customers will continue receiving the high quality service they rely on in a more sustainable organization, provided by the same HandiBus drivers and staff in their new role as part of Calgary Transit’s Access Calgary,” said Brown.