Mayor Jim Watson met with the acting-president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Monday for the first time since Watson was sworn-in and just months before the union's contract runs out.

Watson and Mike Aldrich discussed the future of transit in the city and their mutual goal of preventing another transit strike like the one that paralyzed Ottawa for over 50 days in the winter of 2009 and cost the city more than $13 million.

The meeting came shortly after Toronto mayor Rob Ford recommended that Ottawa deem OC Transpo an essential service and eliminate the possibility of another strike.

Aldrich and Watson met in order to limit this possibility. Aldrich said that so long as the city and union continue to negotiate, a strike is unlikely to happen.

In a tweet after the meeting, Watson wrote that their meeting was "positive and productive."

Head of Transit Commission, Coun. Diane Deans, will meet with Aldrich Tuesday. She said everyone will work towards preventing another strike.

OC Transpo and the ATU, which represents OC Transpo drivers, dispatchers and mechanics will begin contract negotiations in the New Year.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Melissa Lamb