Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. (CPAC)

LETTER: Cuts to transportation put service worker’s job at risk

It’s too costly to take taxis back and forth to work, and graveshift worker has no other options

Dear Editor,

Shared a letter sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, cc’ed to Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden, Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West, and Port Coquitlam MLA & Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth

[Re: TransLink reductions hit community hard, April 22, The News online]

I am writing in regards to the TransLink cuts in British Columbia and the effects it has on myself and other frontline and essential service workers.

As part of the 100K essential service workers plus the countless number of clients we serve every day who use transit as a means of transportation, I am saddened to share with you the direct impacts that TransLink cuts have had on myself and many others.

I am further saddened to express that I believe the suffering is due to the lack of support from the federal government to provide relief funding for this matter.

I have been working in the capacity of support worker for nearly four years.

Today, I work at a transition house for women (and their children) who are fleeing abuse. I am a graveyard shift worker.

Transit is my primary means of transportation.

In the first week of April TransLink cancelled many trips, including those that would get me to my place of employment.

Since, I have had to resort to using taxis. The cost of travel for me has increased dramatically.

In fact, it costs me $31/trip or $62/shift. When I had a look at my budget for the month of May 2020 – using this form of transportation – I have to admit anxiety took over due to the financial impact that this will have.

RELATED: Further TransLink reductions for riders in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

I will work an entire pay period simply to afford to work. This is only the beginning of the impact that the TransLink cuts will have on everyday life. The impact will stretch to my housing and all other areas of life where finances are important.

I regret to admit that, although I love my job and I am of the mind set that “I get” to go to work rather than “I have” to go to work, I may not be able to keep my commitment to my employer in the months to come.

I have considered other options such as asking friends for help with rides, Uber, and riding a bicycle. None of which are feasible.

Having rides from friends does not ensure my health will remain good, I would put myself and the families I work with at risk of contracting the virus. Uber costs are quite similar to taxi costs, approximately $3-$5 less per trip.

However, Uber does not pick up passengers in the city I am employed in. A one-hour bicycle ride each way to a nine hour graveyard shift could impact my health and ability to perform, and riding on the roads from the city I live to the city I work at night could prove to be dangerous.

Thank you prime minister, I appreciate your attention to this matter.

I desperately ask that relief funding or some other means of support be put in place for people like myself who perform the jobs that we perform. I look forward to a response in the near future.

a .

• If there is more to this story, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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