Central Okanagan transit system acquired by new overseas company – Okanagan | Canadian

Just weeks after a transit strike was averted, union workers are faced with yet another challenge. First Transit has now been acquired by Transdev North America yet another company based out of Canada.

Scott Lovell, financial secretary of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1722 in Kelowna, B.C., tells Global News that this is its frustrating.

” Since the inception of this transit organization there have been five different management companies were kind of doing the tour of Europe right now, if you think about it,” says Lovell.

“This is the central Okanagan, this is residents, this is their transit system and it’s being treated like a game. You buy and sell players. That’s not acceptable.”

Read more:

‘Strike averted’ but bus service in Kelowna suspended for the day

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The sale is subject to conditions, but they have been bought as is, so Lovell says this shouldn’t affect arbitration which is set for December of this year.

“They’ve purchased the entire assets, they have to purchase it as is, so they can’t just all of a sudden say no, because they’ve already agreed to the binding arbitration.”

He continues by saying, if they did go back, it would be “very bad”.

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There were conversations had by outgoing mayor Collin Basran with B.C.’s transportation minister. Basran wanted to bring in a new service model instead of sourcing out of country. Lovell says, it looks like talks will continue with the new mayor and council.

“All the mayoral candidates all said the same thing at one of the meetings that they had, that it really needs to be in the hands of the public.,” Lovell said. “You take out that middleman, that’s millions of taxpayers’ dollars that could go into the systems.”

According to a news release from First Transit, the deal is expected to close in early 2023. Until then, it will be business as usual for both companies.

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Financial terms of the sale have not been disclosed.

Click to play video: 'Full Public transit service will resume in the Central Okanagan on Thursday after one day strike.'

Full Public transit service will resume in the Central Okanagan on Thursday after one day strike.

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