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Transit Windsor's special events bus resumes for Lions game

Jan 14, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Fans of the Detroit Lions before a 2024 NFC wild card game against the Los Angeles Rams at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports (David Reginek/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters Connect - image credit)
Jan 14, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Fans of the Detroit Lions before a 2024 NFC wild card game against the Los Angeles Rams at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports (David Reginek/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters Connect - image credit)

A strike by Transit Windsor workers remains a possibility, but the cross-border bus service enjoyed by many Windsor sports fans will be running this weekend.

Transit Windsor management announced on Tuesday that the special events bus will be available on Sunday, Jan. 21, for the Detroit Lions game at Ford Field.

Last weekend, as friction continued between unionized bus operators and their employer, Transit Windsor cancelled the special events bus, citing the potential for a strike.

A bus at the terminal in downtown Windsor in January 2024.
A bus at the terminal in downtown Windsor in January 2024.

A bus at the terminal in downtown Windsor in January 2024. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Contract negotiations between Transit Windsor and the workers, represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 616, are set to resume on Friday.

The union has noted that it can call for a strike at any time, but must give 72 hours notice.

Manny Sforza, ATU international vice-president, said on Tuesday that Transit Windsor did not need to cancel the special events bus last weekend, even with a strike notice in effect.

"We advised the employer that our members would continue to work past midnight," Sforza said. "Why (Transit Windsor) made that decision is beyond us."

Almost 300 Transit Windsor bus operators, mechanics, and other skilled tradespeople are ATU members.

A bus departs from the terminal in downtown Windsor on a cold day in January 2024.
A bus departs from the terminal in downtown Windsor on a cold day in January 2024.

A bus departs from the terminal in downtown Windsor on a cold day in January 2024. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Last weekend, the Detroit Lions secured a win in the NFL playoffs for the first time in 32 years.

Their game at Ford Field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday will be the first time the Lions have had two home playoff games in a row.

Transit Windsor's special events bus will take passengers from the downtown Windsor bus terminal (300 Chatham St. West) to a location within a block's walking distance from Ford Field.

Tickets are round trip and cost $20. Seating is limited and all riders must register in advance.

The special events bus on Sunday departs downtown Windsor at 1:30 p.m. Registered passengers are asked to arrive 30 minutes in advance.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 14: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions reacts after making a first down during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs at Ford Field on January 14, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 14: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions reacts after making a first down during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs at Ford Field on January 14, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 14: Amon-Ra St. Brown #14 of the Detroit Lions reacts after making a first down during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs at Ford Field on January 14, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) (Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)