Updated: Free service and refunds follow bus strike settlement in Central Okanagan

Partial refunds or reduced-cost transit passes for December are available from Kelowna city hall.

Running buses frustrated drivers.

Update: Kelowna city hall now says riders with transit passes have the option of purchasing a three-week discounted December pass, or receiving a refund of three weeks for their November transit pass as a result of the resumption of service following the recent strike by bus drivers in the Central Okanagan.

In order to redeem either one, pass holders must return their November transit passes.

Discounted December passes can be purchased at any transit fare product vendor, however refunds will only be processed at Kelowna city hall, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Riders who do not plan to buy a December transit pass and only want to receive a pro-rated refund for three weeks of November must apply for their refund at city hall and hand in their November 2016 transit pass.

 

Original story: Now that the Central Okanagan transit strike is over, transit pass holders who paid for a month of service for November but lost two weeks due to the labour dispute, can get a partial refund.

Kelowna Regional Transit says passes will be refunded on a pro-rated basis and refunds are available at Kelowna City Hall. Transit passes are required as proof of purchase.

The strike ended Thursday morning when drivers went back to work after ratifying a new collective agreement with First Canada, the company contracted to run the transit system here.

In addition to the partial refund of transit passes, B.C.Transit announced that everyone can ride the buses for free in the Central Okanagan for the rest of the month.

“As a thank you to our customers for their patience, BC Transit, the province of B.C. and our local government partners will provide free service in the Kelowna Regional Transit system for the remainder of November,” said B.C. Transit is a statement issued Wednesday.

It also quoted Transportation Minister Todd Stone as praising both sides involved in the labour dispute, the union representing the 217 drivers, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1722 and and the First Canada.

“It is always good news when two parties are able to come together in good faith as part of the collective bargaining process and agree on a resolution that is good for both the employees and taxpayers,” said Stone.

 

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