OC Transpo willing to pay drivers double for vacation time
OTTAWA -- As the Confederation Line LRT problems simmer down, a spike in OC Transpo bus cancellations has passengers still fuming about transit service in the capital.
Many of the delays and cancellations are being blamed on a driver shortage.
To fix the issue OC Transpo is willing to pay operators for their vacation to keep them on the road, a move that could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We’re saying hey, can you forego your vacation in that first quarter and then I believe it’s a double premium so we’ll pay you two for one on that, versus losing those operators,” OC Transpo general manager, John Manconi, explained at Transit Commission Wednesday.
The original plan was to have 100 new drivers by the New Year. Manconi says those drivers will not be ready until June due to a trainer shortage.
These drivers are crucial to staff emergency buses that were not planned – until LRT started breaking down.
The problem was so bad in early December when 71 bus routes were cancelled over the December 8th weekend.
OC Transpo apologized to customers for the poor service that weekend.
Some of those OC Transpo operators needed on daily routes are sitting in 20 buses idling at the Ottawa Baseball stadium during rush hours.
Meantime, Hubley is hoping the biggest LRT issues have been resolved,
'The latest count is 6 million trips, that's a good number" said Hubley.