After two days of meetings behind closed doors, Ottawa city council says it wants an independent third party fact-finder to review the key issue of scheduling and determine if there's any room for both sides to come to an agreement.

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union, who were on hand at Ottawa City Hall Thursday, were furious the city chose not to budge on taking scheduling off the table.

After 37 days without public transit, many Ottawa residents say they're getting comfortable with new ways to get to work.

Carolyn Dupont has gone from being a faithful transit user to a car passenger.

For the first two-and-a-half weeks of the transit strike, Dupont shared the costs of renting a car to get to and from work.

"I was working about an hour a day just to pay to get to work, which was ridiculous -- ridiculous," she said.

When it was clear the strike wouldn't end quickly, a colleague decided to buy a used car. Now, instead of paying $250 per week, Dupont pays a small cost to be part of her co-worker's carpool.

The strike has forced thousands of people to drive to work and many are like Dupont's colleague, and have decided to buy cars of their own.

Business at 2nd Chance Auto Sales in Ottawa is up 10 per cent.

"A basic used car would probably cost $5,000 and up to get something decent enough it's going to last you the next couple of years," said Fred Brockington, of 2nd Chance Auto Sales.

Business is also up at many car rental agencies. In some cases, as much as half the fleet is rented to former bus riders who are choosing to extend their rentals as the strike continues.

After more than a month of getting around in a car, Dupont says she won't return to OC Transpo when the strike ends.

"I likely will keep carpooling with her, just because at least I get to sit in a warm car and I won't have to deal with the politics of what's going to happen after the strike," she said.

Although both sides of the transit strike have met with a federal mediator, no new talks are scheduled.

Union members voted 75 per cent in favour of rejecting the city's latest contract offer in a federally ordered vote last week.

More than 2,300 OC Transpo drivers, dispatchers and mechanics walked off the job Dec. 10, after working without a contract since April.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Kimothy Walker and Kate Eggins