Transit users are looking for alternative transportation as the City of Saskatoon’s lockout of transit employees entered its second day on Monday.

Last-minute contract talks between the city and the Amalgamated Transit Union 615, which represents the city’s bus drivers, broke down Saturday and buses stopped running at 9 p.m. that night.

About 330 union members were locked out by the city after the two sides were unable to reach a contract agreement following a 48-hour lockout notice.

The lockout means bus service is suspended indefinitely — only Access Transit, a service for people unable to use the regular bus system, will continue operating as normal.

The lockout is expected to leave thousands of people looking for alternative transportation as they try to get to work or school Monday.

The University of Saskatchewan has added additional parking in existing lots for those coming to campus and has added a temporary parking lot located in the north end of campus off Innovation Boulevard. It is also encouraging the use of its UCommute ride-matching and commute-tracking service and has added additional bike racks.

A Facebook page YXE Share a Ride has been set up to help those seeking transportation connect with drivers willing to offer a ride within the city. Rides are also being offered on the online classified site Kijiji under the rideshare category.

Both sides in the dispute say they are far from reaching a deal. There were no negotiations on Sunday and talks are not scheduled for Monday. Wages are a key issue and both sides acknowledge that they are far apart on that issue.

The city says it offered the transit union a 10 per cent wage increase over four years. It now says the union wants a 22 per cent wage increase over five years.

But union said the increase is not as dramatic as the city claims and will put transit workers’ wages closer to wages in other western Canadian cities.

“However the city wants to twist it,” said union president Jim Yakubowski said Saturday. “The truth is 65 cents an hour is what we’re asking for in the third year and a dollar an hour the fourth year over and above the 10 per cent they’ve offered everybody else.”

Transit workers picketed the city’s downtown bus mall on Sunday and again Monday morning, with workers condemning the city’s approached to the contract dispute.

Union members say the special council meeting scheduled for Monday to change the general pension plan is an attempt to impose it on the union.

"These are bullying tactics. The lockout, the special council meeting, they are just being bullies,” said bus driver Jeanne Benson.

The city wants transit workers to increase their pension contributions, to make up a $6.7-million pension deficit. The union doesn't agree with how that number was reached, but the city says it’s been checked by independent bodies and the union itself.

"It’s three different groups, it the actuaries with their professional responsibility and ethics, it’s the board that is made up of both parties and finally it’s the office of the superintendent that signs off on it,” said Marno McInnes, the city’s director of human resources.