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Bus Driver Abandons Bus On Bridge

“Get another bus.” 

That apparently is what yet one more frustrated bus driver said as he allegedly stormed off the bus he was driving, leaving more than a dozen passengers on the idling vehicle marooned  on the Mackenzie St. Bridge.

One more frustrated bus driver, one more apology from OC Transpo.

“Customer service is always a priority for OC Transpo, and we apologize to all customers who were on the bus when this incident happened. We appreciate when customers contact us directly on their service experience and OC Customer Service will communicate with the customer to better respond to their needs.

“As always, we are monitoring the service on all our bus routes and we encourage our customers to provide us feedback to assist in this process.

OC Transpo is investigating and appropriate action will be taken based on the findings. 

OC Transpo (Customer Relations) contacted the customer regarding his experience,” read a standard message from OC Transpo.

Yup, that’s right, just left the bus right there — along with about a dozen or so passengers who no doubt were wondering what the heck was going on.

OC Transpo — through the Sun — has apologized to the passengers on the bus at the time.

Seems this is getting to be old hat to the commission.

It was Henry McCambridge who, having waited for 40 minutes for the No. 5, boarded bus number 5060 earlier this week — and attempted to engage the driver about problems with the route.

“When I boarded the bus, I asked the driver how late was he on his schedule. The driver replied, ‘I don’t have to tell you anything.’ I explained to the driver that I know it’s probably not his fault for being late and that I needed information to pass onto my city councillor and OC so they can rectify this problem.  The driver then ordered me off the bus.

“I turned around facing the passengers and told them that the No. 5 route has scheduling problems and for them to take five minutes from their time to complain about the service, that it’s not all the driver’s fault.”

“It was then that the bus driver put on his coat and left the bus.” 

He actually abandoned the bus right there on the Mackenzie Bridge, the bus still running and not notifying the passengers, except to say as he left, ‘Get another bus’.” 

McCambridge is the president of his building’s Senior Tenant Association — and in that role has been monitoring bus route problems with Route No. 5.

A supervisor showed up about 10 minutes later, according to McCambridge.

“I asked the supervisor what is being done and he told me the driver has been relieved of his duties and is returning the bus to the garage and that the driver will be addressed by the management,” he said.

Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury, McCambridge’s councillor, said he really doesn’t know what to think.

“What’s going on with OC? I read your column (today) and you’re right, no one wins,” he said, adding OC Transpo will reimburse McCambridge with two bus tickets, something he asked for following this incident.

“We want a good service. I take the bus everyday and I feel a tension, the drivers don’t want to talk to people, there’s no interaction,” he said.

Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans, who chairs the OC Transpo Commission, said despite the series of negative stories of late, customer remains their number one concern.

“We have 400,000 passenger rides each day, and we hear lots of good stories about our service,” she said.

But with that number of passengers, she said they also receive complaints — all of which are investigated by OC Transpo.

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