In Memory of Brother Ty Leon

In Memory of Brother Ty Leon

Unifor Local 4304 Members are once again mourning the loss of one of their colleagues.

Tyler (Ty) Leon passed away unexpectedly on August 8, 2017 which has shocked and saddened everyone at Grand River Transit. A celebration of life will be held on Tuesday, August 15th at 1PM at Corbett Funeral Home, 95 Dundas Street North in Cambridge. Ty was a dedicated Grand River Transit Conventional Bus Operator for 13 years and will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

Posted in: In Memory

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24th Annual Dick Struthers Memorial GRT Golf Tournament

24th Annual Dick Struthers Memorial GRT Golf Tournament


The 24th Annual Dick Struthers Memorial Golf Tournament will take place on Sunday, September 17th, 2017 at Rockway Golf Club, 625 Rockway Drive in Kitchener in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation.

How much?
$100 per golfer
$30 per guest

Breakfast at 9:30AM
Tee-Time at 11:00AM
Dinner at 3:00PM

Sign up sheets are posted at the Strasburg Garage, Conestoga Garage, Charles Terminal, Ainslie Terminal and Cambridge Centre Station. Payment can be made by cash or money order.

For more information you may contact Kelly at 519-570-6389 or Sonja at 226-791-5324.

The Dick Struthers Memorial GRT Golf Tournament is Sponsored By:

Posted in: Special Events

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South Operations Committee Appointment

South Operations Committee Appointment

August 1, 2017

Warren Schnurr has won the appointment to the South Operations Committee after the retirement of John Morgan. This appointment takes effect immediately and runs through June 20, 2018.

I would also like to thank the other two candidates who ran against him. Karen Small and Peggy Byrne both had lots to offer, so it made our choice difficult.

For this appointment, the Executive decided to go with Educated Voting, where we required the candidates to submit their election platforms to us in writing. All three sent us very good letters telling us why we should vote for them. We then voted using Survey Monkey.

Warren’s election platform is here if you are interested: CLICK HERE

Please join me in congratulating Warren.

John A. McDonald,

Acting Recording Secretary.

Posted in: Messages & Announcmenets

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In Memory of Brother Geoff Walford

In Memory of Brother Geoff Walford

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of one of our members and colleagues.

Geoff Walford, a conventional bus operator at Grand River Transit, passed away unexpectedly due to a heart attack in his home on Saturday, June 17.

While information about final arrangements has not yet been made available, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up by the family to help with funeral costs and to provide for Geoff’s two daughters.

The thoughts and prayers of all the members of Unifor Local 4304 are with Geoff’s family in this difficult time.

You can support the family’s GoFundMe campaign here…

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The Summer uXpress Deadline is Sunday, June 25th

The Summer uXpress Deadline is Sunday, June 25th

June 25th is the deadline to submit your articles and photos for the July edition of the uXpress newsletter. This is the official voice of your union. Share your reports of courses you have attended, or anything else that you think would be of interest to our members.

As usual, email your material to

Questions? Call John A. McDonald at 519-241-5623.

Posted in: Union Newsletter

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All GRT buses to be outfitted with device to control traffic lights

All GRT buses to be outfitted with device to control traffic lights

Waterloo Region Record
By Johanna Weidner
May 16, 2017

WATERLOO REGION — Waterloo Region plans to outfit all Grand River Transit buses with a device to control traffic lights.

“It gives transit vehicles a small advantage which makes transit services more attractive to commuters,” said Peter Zinck, assistant director of transit services.

The total cost would be $1.1 million, including installation and taxes, with $500,000 coming from a federal subsidy.

Currently, 30 buses are outfitted with the traffic signal priority units. They’re used on the iXpress Route 200 along the Hespeler Road and University Avenue corridors, and transit queue jump lanes that are located at three intersections along Hespeler Road.

Buying another 221 control units would outfit the remainder of the fleet, leaving 10 spares.

“The equipment needs to be on all vehicles because we move them around,” Zinck said.

The devices allow a bus running behind schedule in key areas to shorten red lights or extend green lights at intersections, activate transit-only signals at intersections with transit queue jump lanes, and to control gate systems at transit garages and other locations.

Planning and works committee chair Coun. Tom Galloway asked how much disruption the priority signals have on regular traffic.

“There’s a time frame for the system to recover,” Galloway said.

Thomas Schmidt, the region’s commissioner of transportation and environmental services, said it does not give buses automatic priority like with ambulances, and it’s only used at certain locations.

While there is some disruption to other vehicle traffic, Schmidt said that “we feel that overall there’s benefit.”

Transit signal priority minimizes delays, providing a shorter and more consistent trip time. Shorter trip schedules can reduce the number of buses allotted to a particular route, resulting in lower operating costs and increased customer satisfaction, said the report given to the committee on Tuesday.

All of the region’s traffic signal control equipment is outfitted with the system. Grand River Transit will work with the transportation division to determine the best locations for transit signal priority and mitigate the impact on traffic flow.

“They’ll be more locations through the region as transit grows,” Zinck said.

The plan, approved by the committee, will need final approval from council at its next meeting.

Source: All GRT buses to be outfitted with device to control traffic lights

Posted in: In The News

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Grand River Transit installing new fare boxes on buses

Grand River Transit installing new fare boxes on buses

New fare boxes have coloured LCD screen, printed transfers and temporary ticket container beside fare box

CBC News
April 23, 2017

Waterloo region residents who take Grand River Transit (GRT) on a regular basis will gradually start to notice new installed fare boxes.

So far, GRT has been testing the new fare boxes on four of its buses. On Monday, a fifth bus will have a new fare box installed, followed by a sixth bus on Tuesday.

“As we find our feet, the rate of installing fare boxes will gradually increase,” said Gethyn Beniston, project manager for electronic fare systems for Waterloo region.

Riders will notice that the new fare boxes have a coloured LCD screen, transfers will be printed rather than given by the bus operator and there will be a temporary ticket container located beside fare box.

Beniston adds that it may take about two months for all of GRT buses to be equipped with the new fare boxes.

‘One system, one fare’

The new fare boxes are designed to take the new EasyGo fare card, which will eventually become the new form of paying for public transit.

However, the EasyGo card will only be available once all GRT buses have the new fare boxes installed. For now, riders can use cash (coins only), transfers and paper tickets when using the new fare boxes.

GRT will eventually stop selling paper tickets as well, said Beniston and adds that the public will get a few months’ notice before that happens.

Once the ION starts to operate, riders will be able to use the same transfer from buses to the ION service and vise versa.

“It will be one system, one fare,” said Beniston. “We need to get people to ION so they can take advantage of ION to get around the city and we don’t want fares to be an impediment to doing that so the transfers should make it easy.”

Source: Grand River Transit installing new fare boxes on buses

Posted in: In The News

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In Memory of Brother Nigel Morrell

In Memory of Brother Nigel Morrell

Unifor Local 4304 Members are mourning the loss of one of their own. Brother Nigel Morrell, a dedicated Human Rights advocate within our membership, a member of our Local’s Human Rights Committee and Conventional Bus Operator at Grand River Transit in the Kitchener-Waterloo Service Area, passed away unexpectedly on April 16, 2017.

The passing of Brother Morrell has left a empy place in the hearts of our membership, he will be deeply missed by all.

Many Grand River Transit Operators will be wearing black arm bands or ribbons in honour of Brother Nigel during this time of loss.

Obituary Follows…

In Memory of Nigel Morrell (Tzvi ben Avraham) February 11, 1978 – April 16, 2017

Morrell, Nigel Lee (Tzvi ben Avraham) – Passed away unexpectedly on April 16, 2017 in his 40th year. Devoted husband of Tracy Morrell, loving father of Kitty Lee, Korii, Kelsii, Jazmyne Lee and Justice Lee. Beloved son of Cindy Morrell (Roger) and Mark Kovatch (Joan). Son-in-law of Bonnie (Richard) and Donald (Imelda). Much loved brother of Alicia, Kaitlyn, Olivia (Cory), Colby and Cole and brother-in-law of Sean (Charlotte). Uncle of Zoe, Joshua and Abbie. Grandson of Al Morrell (Sandra) and the late Sandra Impraim and Gillian and Mike Kovatch. He will be painfully missed by his many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Family and friends may visit at the Westmount Memorial Celebration Centre on Thursday, April 20 from 12-2 and 6-8 pm. Private Interment. Donations may be made to the Cambridge Memorial Hospital – Mental Health Services.

Shiva details as follows:

Nigel’s family will be observing Shiva at 84 Marcy Crescent on Friday April 21 from 3-4 pm and Sunday April 23 to Wednesday April 26 from 2-4 and 6-8 pm.

What is Shiva?
In Judaism, the first period of structured mourning is shiva. The primary purpose of the shiva tradition, or “sitting shiva,” is to create an environment of comfort and community for mourners; it helps guide friends and family members through the loss of a loved one. Throughout the shiva period, mourners come together in one family’s home to offer their condolences and support. For more information, please

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Region of Waterloo and transit union ratify labour deal

Region of Waterloo and transit union ratify labour deal

Wage increases of 1.5 per cent in 2017, 1.75 per cent in 2018, and 2.00 per cent in 2019

CBC News
April 13, 2017

The Region of Waterloo has ratified a labour agreement with the union representing 644 Grand River Transit workers, ensuring bus service on regional and city streets will continue without interruption.

The 36-month agreement with Unifor Local 4304 is retroactive, beginning Jan. 1, 2017, and ending Dec. 31, 2019.

In it, the region agreed to wage increases for union members: 1.5 per cent on Jan. 1, 2017; 1.75 per cent on Jan. 1, 2018; and 2 per cent on Jan. 1, 2019.

The agreement follows an intense period of negotiations earlier this year, which came to a head in early April after the union rejected a tentative agreement with the region.

There were threats of a strike on Monday, April 3, but that job action was avoided when the region and the union reached a second tentative agreement.

Workplace health and safety, along with other workplace issues, were the main points of discussion in the negotiations, according to both regional officials and union representatives.

Source: Region of Waterloo and transit union ratify labour deal

Posted in: In The News

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