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ATU 279 Press Release from this past weekend.
bopgunner wrote in octranspo
Please excuse the formatting...if you want to read it properly check out the ATU website.

As an ATU member, I am appalled this went out to the media and is available to the public at www.atu279.ca. The grammatical and spelling errors are terrible!

Embarrassed doesn't even come close to explaining how I feel about this.

Absolutely unnacceptable. Why has our new President not taken care of this?




The following was a press release sent to the Media on Friday March 4 2011.
The Ottawa Sun said they would publish this letter on Sunday March 6 2011.
I am tired of us (Employees) of O.C. being labelled as the bad guys. The public has a right to know
the truth about what has been going on at O.C. Transpo. I hope that we find a voice that will listen.
For the last few weeks I have been trying to understand the O.C. Transpo Budget that was
presented and passed by the "Transit Commission"
O.C. Transpo wants to cut 22 million dollars from the current budget. The way they plan on doing
this is through service cuts as well as fare hikes. Once again Mr Mercier wants the taxpayers to
pay for his mismanagement.
Let me explain where some of the money was spent.
ln September 2010 O.C. opened a new garage on lndustrial Ave. The cost of this facility was over
90 Million Dollars. You and I, the taxpayers of the City of Ottawa paid that bill.
This new garage is a "Maintenance Facility" which means that no Busses are housed in this
garage. There is 133 arliculated busses assigned to service out of this garage but they are all
parked outside. Because they are parked outside they have to be plugged in at night, and they also
have a special heater that runs on Diesel to keep them warm at night. So guess who is paying for
the fuel and electricity for the 133 Buses? You, the taxpayers.
Drive by the lndustrial garage and you will notice it is surrounded by a stone wall. Some might say
it is a sound barrier, but who puts up a sound barrier in an lndustrial area? I like to call it "The Wall
of Shame." Shame on the City for putting up a 90 Million dollar garage that they really don't need.
Drive by the main garage on St. Laurent, there is no stone walljust a metal fence to keep the
employees from escape. The Buses there are stored in a heated garage, along with the Buses at
the Pinecrest garage on Queensview as well as the Merivale garage on Colonnade.
Speaking of Pinecrest and Merivale, let me tell you what's going to happen there.
Management at O.C. decides to build a 90 Million Dollar garage but does not hire any employees
to work there. lnstead they take the Mechanics, Body Men and other Maintenance Employees from
Merivale and Pinecrest and transfer them to the work behind "The Wall of Shame" on lndustrial.
Merivale and Pinecrest have their own Maintenance facilities, but now the Maintenance bays at
these two locations are going to be used for storage. And by the way, the City already owns these
two locations. There are still buses assigned to service out of Merivale and Pinecrest garages and
when these Buses are in need of repair guess where they have to go? Yep they get driven or
towed to lndustrial Garage. Even though they have their own perfectly working "Maintenance
Facility" they are now going to be transferred across the City to be fixed behind "The Wall of
Shame." And once again, who is paying for this? The Taxpayer.
March 6 201 1
ln this new "Maintenance Facility" they have "Tool Boards" which cost close to 1 Million dollars,
plus the salary of one employee to maintain them. The Mechanics all have their own tools which
they have purchased over time through their "Tool Allowance" of roughly $400 a year.
Management told the Mechanics to take their tool boxes home because now they have to use the
community tools.
Now let's talked about the "Double Decke/' buses. The City approved a budget to buy over 60 of
these types of buses. The head of the Maintenance Department told Council that this would be a
good investment, that "there had only been two of them out of service at one time." I guess he
figures that's pretty good since we only have 3 "Double Decker's" in service at this present time.
These buses cannot be parked indoors so they too will have to be plugged in overnight. They can
only travel in certain parts of the City. Mr. Mercier told City Council that the "Double Decke/' holds
more people than an Ar.ticulated Bus. Actually a "Double Decke/'will sit more passengers, but an
articulated bus will carry more if you count the passengers standing. A "Double Decked' has 1 door
to load and2 doors to unload. An Articulated bus has 3 doors to load and 3 doors to unload which
makes for faster service. Mr. Mercier said he will use the "Double Decker'' on express routes.
The upper floor on a "Double Decked' has a clearance of 5 feet 4 inches. So if you are catching a
certain express bus, and you are one of the last passengers to get on and you are 6' 4" and the
only seats available are on the upper level, let me know how comfortable your ride is going to be.
Because it takes longer to load a "Double Decker'' your trip downtown will also take longer, for
example if you caught the 7am bus to get Downtown for 745am you will now have to catch the Bus
at 645am to be Downtown for 745am. How has that improved service?
ln closing I find it very upsetting that the Taxpayers of Ottawa have been mislead and have to
again bail out O.C. Transpo through run cuts and fare hikes. Councillor Deans is right to rethink
the LRT. You are better off to save that money. We might need another garage someday.
Mike Aldrich
Vice President