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2 months of free YRT bus service offered after strike

After  three months without service, transit riders in York Region will get two months of free rides on the YRT/Viva system  when buses resume on Saturday.

“I realize the hardship encountered by our riders, parents, students and our seniors during this labour dispute between the Region’s contractors and the unions. Commuting without transit has not been easy,” York Region chairman and CEO Bill Fisch said in a release.

Last week, members of two locals of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) ratified deals with Miller Transit, which operates 51 of 120 routes, and Veolia Transportation, which runs Viva service, ending a strike that began Oct. 24, 2011. Earlier this month, the regional municaplity terminated its deal with First Canada on 29 routes , and  hired TOK Transit Ltd. to operate buses in the region’s northern parts.

Although buses will hit the roads on Saturday, it will take a few weeks for full service to resume.

The stretch of free rides will run from Feb. 4 until March 31. Officials say if any riders have already purchased a monthly pass for February, it will be honoured in April.