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All bus drivers lazy, ignorant, overpaid and stupid?
mclovin84
For quite sometime now I have heard this statement regarding busdrivers, not just here in Ottawa but in all cities where public transit is provided. Absolutely amazing that a certain group are all the same in every city isn't it? Or, this group of public employees have got to be the most scrutinized of all public jobs. I'd even go as far as saying these guys and gals have more eyes on them than even the police. So, that being said, what do you think will happen when a group of people have eyes on the them for every minute of every part of their shift? You guessed it, every fuckin mistake is gonna be magnified tenfold just for that very reason.  Maybe we as a society need to learn a little bit more before casting the first stone as if we are perfect. I for one can attest to taking the bus on a regular basis for the last 17 years and I've magically never had not even one dustup with this group of people who are all lazy,overpaid, ignorant and stupid. Maybe just maybe it's not always thedrivers fault? I'd even go out on a limb and say most of the time it's not the drivers fault. Hec, most of the hard stops I've experienced while on a bus is when the driver is slamming his brakes to not run over some idiot jaywalking with his earphones in while texting. But of course thats the drivers fault!! The idiot texter/jaywalker usually gives the finger when honked at just for good measure. Another thing, if a monkey could drive a bus like some of you fools say,  they'd surely be driving by now because there's a hec of a lot of monkeys who'd love to hire them!!! That's all for now but remember in a few days when the truth starts to unfold who really is the monkey. I'm thinking it's the guy from the tenth dimension!

Mercier's letter of apology regarding the Kanata incident - plus another investigation
cre47
Not sure if it was worth posting, anyways this is Mercier's letter regarding what happened in Kanata. Also see: http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111108/OTT_oc_phone_111108/20111108/?hub=OttawaHome regarding another cellphone investigation that will be launched as a driver was on the phone on the 417 back in August. Euh! Question, why did he suddenly decided to send the video to media three months later rather then immediately, is it just because of the Kanata incident I suppose, try to add up on the bad press OC has had.



http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111107/OTT_alain_letter_111107?hub=OttawaHome

Alain Mercier's letter to council re: bus video

Updated: Mon Nov. 07 2011 11:58:43 AM

ctvottawa.ca

Dear Chair and Members of the Commission,

As you are aware, a video on Youtube was posted showing the situation of a customer being treated disrespectfully on board an OC Transpo bus with the videographer stating it was the Operator, which is consistent with the images. This incident has been under investigation since it was first brought to our attention.

Firstly, our apologies to the customer and to all customers on the bus. Our entire team of employees do not believe in this type of behaviour, but the reality is that the incident appears genuine. The investigation will be given the utmost attention given the seriousness of the case.

It is of course important that members of the Commission receive full disclosure on our efforts to set positive behaviours for our customers by employees and to assure you that these incidents are rare and do not reflect the norm of daily service to our customers.

Since 2008, several initiatives were launched to direct management efforts to support positive engagement with our customers on board the bus. Some of these initiatives are:

A reduction in employee to supervisory ratio from 400 to 150:1 to permit sufficient oversight of resources, provide mentoring and to build an engaged team.

Introduction of cyclical training on a 36 month basis which includes dealing with difficult customer situations and understanding persons with various types of disabilities to foster compassion and patience. This is the most aggressive program we know of in Canada and features meeting with senior and customer service managers on the importance of public image.

Introduction of Silent Shoppers to facilitate objective coaching of individuals and identify needs for training. This program targets two "shoppings" every 18 months. Again, this is one of the most comprehensive programs of this type in North America.

A performance interview is now scheduled every 18 months with Operators to ensure support and coaching of employees is consistent and, where necessary, additional coaching is scheduled.

A comprehensive communications program on customer compliments are published to all Operators and sample customer testimonials are published monthly to all employees to provide positive reinforcement to team members.

Our current public program of demonstration of employee commitment entitled "People Moving People", highly valued by both customers and employees, was launched to further highlight appropriate behaviour for customers and to seek alignment by all employees to their importance in creating a successful Transit system.

Despite this sad and regrettable incident for our customers, I believe you can have confidence in each employee's choices of behaviour as we continue to enlarge positive customer experiences with new fleet and services.

Regards,

Alain Mercier | General Manager | Directeur général

Mr. Youtube Sensation.
gottaloveit2
First of all let me say that the driver was very wrong for what he did and should be fired. BUT, I think the driver was probably pushed over the edge by this kid who knew exactly what he was doing. I think this video was pre-meditated in order to gain popularity....the kid wants to be an actor. Secondly, I have seen this kid cause other disturbances on other buses like the 118. I have seen him eat food and throw garbage all over the bus, I have seen him agitate other drivers by not producing a pass, and much more. He just does really weird things and generally annoys other passengers. I also find it shady that the individual filming the event did not film the `kids` peculiar behaviour that let up to the outbreak. So I think this was a target on the driver and possibly think this driver was singled out as vulnerable by the youtube actor and film maker.



So I did some research on the kid in this video and found the following:
1) Enough said right here. This is his youtube page and he is clearly a pshycho
http://www.youtube.com/user/matthewtaronno

2) This kid is a `Actor and Film Maker` enough said there.
3)One of his favorite Youtube video is titled `AC TRANSIT BUS FIGHT` Have a look at his youtube channel, coincidence, hmmm
4) Some more links to this weirdo:
https://plus.google.com/110166868498784022715/posts
http://vimeo.com/8232324
http://www.youtube.com/user/matthewtaronno
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2011/11/07/ottawa-octranspo-driver-tirade.html


Slow news day at the Sun once again.
cre47
Since it was a slow news day, the Sun had two articles/videos (well one it's more an editorial complaining about bus laws regarding buses today. Well the first one was regarding accidents involving city vehicules, but almost everything the video shows are incidents involving OC Transpo buses.

http://www.ottawasun.com/videos?videoId=1258862169001

http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/11/04/most-city-work-vehicle-crashes-preventable

And check this piece of crap video

http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/11/05/bus-laws-confusing-for-drivers

More confrontation live on YouTube
cre47
This was posted on David Reevely's blog which is a YouTube video that records a confrontation between a mentally-ill passenger and a driver which turn well quite ugly I should say. I'm sure the Ottawa Sun and CFRA will make this a big case once again. By the way, it was filmed at the Eagleson Park and Ride in Kanata.

http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2011/11/05/a-pretty-bad-seeming-oc-transpo-video/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK0TqvDPH8s


The accessable debate
antiocstriker
I was on a bus the other day, I saw some seniors sitting on the front seats, and the other seat was up for a carriage. The bus stopped at the next stop and picked up another carriage, and the driver asked the seniors to move. Whats other peoples opinions? Mine is its first come, first serve, if both front seats are being used as accesable, the driver should not pick up another carriage

Things will get worse, transit riders told
mayorzero
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Things+will+worse+transit+riders+told/5559374/story.html

Is Diane Deans really that dangerously inept when it comes to understanding transit planning?

Probably, but the real reason "optimization" was chosen over trunk and feeder is that the suburban councillors are afraid of the repercussions of cutting the express service. OC Transpo makes no secret about the fact that they are primarily focused on building their commuter business, not on improving (or even maintaining) off-peak mobility for the transit dependent or for those who choose not to own cars. Ironically, the peak-hour service would actually improve for most suburbanites under a trunk and feeder network, despite having to transfer. Wait times for transfers would be short, bus arrivals would be more predictable and reliable (since they wouldn't go downtown) and the downtown core would move better at rush hour. Real operational budget savings would be realized without slashing route coverage or service frequency. In fact, both could be enhanced.

There is plenty of staging room at stations and elsewhere for trunk and feeder.
The number of people transferring at Hurdman would remain about the same since some routes would be staged elsewhere (87, 118, 146, 148, 149 at Billings Bridge, for example, where there is lots of space). The only people transferring at Hurdman would be people who take routes like the eastbound 8, 86, or the 9, 121, industrial park routes or people who want to switch to/from an east/west Transitway bus to/from a south Transitway bus.
When Hurdman is closed for LRT construction, it would be easy to set up a small staging area for local routes while others would be based out of St. Laurent Station or Billings Bridge instead.
Place D'Orleans Station is overcrowded, but you could also stage buses at Jeanne D'Arc, Trim, Millenium to take the pressure off and make shorter, more direct feeder routes.
They can stage overflow south-end buses at Walkley Station, extra Tunney's Pasture buses at Bayview, etc. etc.

The only reason things will get worse is because the councillors don't have the stones to cut the express service.

About the TTC but a good article anyway
mayorzero
Hume: Along with shiny new subway cars, riders need a new attitude

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1070077

A direct consequence of the massive (and bone-headed) cuts
cre47
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2011/10/14/ottawa-oc-transpo-bus-crowding.html

OC Transpo overcrowding causing rider injuries
CBC News
Posted: Oct 14, 2011 6:47 PM ET
Last Updated: Oct 14, 2011 6:43 PM ET

An Ottawa city councillor says he's been receiving emails from OC Transpo riders complaining of crowded conditions and even injuries since bus routes were reduced or cancelled in September.

Rainer Bloess, who is also member of the transit commission, said he's received messages about people hurt or passing out on the packed buses.

"The problem is when riders get to the bus stop...they get herded on like cattle," he said.
Changes to OC Transpo routes brought in last month are meant to save $20 million.Changes to OC Transpo routes brought in last month are meant to save $20 million. CBC

Bloess said he is advocating for increases in capacity and frequency.

"My fear is any time someone gets hurt or injured, we have a liability and we have to be conscious of that," he said. "And if we're providing a service that has a risk of injury, we have to provide a better service."

One of the emails Bloess received came from the mother of Joyana Borg, who rode the Route 94 bus most weekdays for two years from her house in Orleans to her classes at the University of Ottawa.

That changed two weeks ago after some overcrowded rides and, finally, an injury while standing near the driver inside the bus's front door. "The driver opened the door on my foot, which sent excruciating pain through me. I had to then ask him to move the door off my foot. As he did that, it tore the skin off my foot."

She says she realized her injury was minor, but that it could have been worse. "I couldn't turn around, you can't move, you're stuck where you are. I think it could easily happen to someone else."

The cutbacks to OC Transpo routes were made to save about $20 million from the city budget. The implementation of the bus-route changes in early September was the largest single change in OC Transpo's history.

OC Transpo has said the changes make for a more efficient service, but Bloess said the city has gone well beyond "optimization" and into "overload mode."

Vote
anudderdriver
I guess no one wants to write about the upcoming vote. I don't mind because I think we should vote yes and that it's a fair offer in these tough economic times. No one in this city wants another strike so why not go for it.
Also.....
If any management personnel is reading this I'm wondering if this idea was ever considered: It might not sit well with many drivers, but the few I've mentioned it to all agreed. I personally would accept a 0% pay increase just to get flexible shift choices back and a schedule that doesn't have us running all over the city and spending our own time going back and forth.  It's very much the reason for the deteriorating morale issues. Throw in more reasonable run times and you would have one pretty happy bunch of employees. I don't know exactly what that would cost or if it's an option, but when you consider all the intangibles of having a very unhappy workforce, it might really pay off in the long run. Not only that but I could see the headlines now: City negotiates a 0% pay increase with atu 279! You would be recognized as heroes in the media and the political world. 
To me it seems like a win win situation, but I don't have all the facts and figures to support this. Maybe it's an option worth considering?
I apologize to any drivers that think I'm wrong in saying this, but I would jump at the chance just for the peace of mind it would create at work.