MVT Canadian Bus to seek essential service designation for HandyDART trips
for H1N1 flu vaccine

VANCOUVER, Nov. 4 /CNW/ - MVT Canadian Bus (MVT) approached the Amalgamated Transit Union local 1724 on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, seeking their consent to add the H1N1 vaccination to the Essential Services Order. MVT would require an essential service designation from the Labour Relations Board to enable HandyDart customers to see their doctor or health care provider to obtain the H1N1 flu vaccine. The ATU has not yet responded.

"With the H1N1 flu vaccine now available in BC, MVT is seeking an essential service designation to enable HandyDART passengers to travel to their health care provider to receive the vaccine while the ATU is on strike," said John Siragusa, vice president of Operations.

Metro Vancouver's HandyDART service began operating at essential service levels on Sunday October 25, 2009, as a result of strike action by the ATU. The Labour Relations Board has ruled that HandyDART trips for renal dialysis and cancer patients are essential services.

"With the ATU's support, we would like to seek this essential service designation from the Labour Relations Board to protect our passengers and exercise caution in light of the H1N1 flu pandemic," said Siragusa. "While we continue to negotiate, we want to provide necessary essential services to our passengers for the duration of the strike, and we hope to resume full service for all of our passengers as soon as possible by reaching a collective agreement with the ATU."

MVT's HandyDART service provides transportation to customers who are unable to use public transit without assistance, including many seniors, the seriously ill and persons with cognitive or physical disabilities. HandyDART is the only means of transportation for many of its customers.

Some HandyDart customers may have one or more chronic health conditions that may make them more vulnerable to serious illness related to influenza. Accordingly, MVT believes there is a strong rationale to designate H1N1 flu vaccine trips as essential.

HandyDART customers are encouraged to visit or call 604-575-6600 for up-to-date information on service levels.

MVT Canadian Bus is the Canadian subsidiary of MV Transportation Inc., the largest provider of specialized transportation services for seniors and persons with disabilities in the United States.


For further information: For further information: Zdenka Buric, (604) 619-4344 or

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