Gatineau bus strike leaves many commuters confused and frustrated
Published Thursday, March 16, 2017 2:43PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, March 16, 2017 6:55PM EDT
Gatineau bus drivers and maintenance workers walked off the job Thursday in their first set of rotating strikes leaving many commuters confused and frustrated.
Highway 50 was busier than usual as were other major roads in Gatineau with more commuters opting to drive to work. To accommodate the extra vehicles on the roads, the city of Gatineau offered up 500 parking spaces at the Robert Guertin Centre.
Commuters without cars had to rely on their feet as a primary mode of transportation. Caroline Jutras walked from Gatineau to work in Ottawa, a trip that took her about four hours round trip.
"They make a lot of money, the company makes a lot of money and I think that it's us, citizens, that have to pay for us not to get into an agreement. I understand that the drivers want more money and they want better working conditions, but it's an impact on us, the users," she said.
According to the STO, its Ottawa-Gatineau loop makes roughly 1,000 trips a day serving about 25,000 people on an average day.
The city of Gatineau urged its residents to work at home or to carpool to work Thursday to decrease congestion.
The rotating strikes escalate existing job action that has already seen some STO routes cancelled or delayed over the last month. The union has not yet indicated what other days might be affected by the rotating strikes, but said residents will be given 24 hours notice.
STO is asking customers to check its website at www.sto.ca for updates.