gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


OC Transpo drivers

November 17, 2011 @ 12:29 By: gordon Category: General, In the news

There have been three high-profile incidents involving bus drivers in the last week or so. One that CBC reported on yesterday involves a passenger who asked a driver why he was 40 minutes late and after a short back and forth between the two of them the driver got off the bus. The ATU 279 has responded by supporting the driver saying he did the right thing in extricating himself from a conflict situation with a passenger. In the video attached to the story on the CBC site, the union is reported as saying that all their drivers should report conflict situations to their controller, pull over and put the four-way flashers on and wait for someone to show up and that if this means that buses are pulling over on the 417 “so be it”.

It concerns me is that this could result in buses stopping at the side of the 417, a highway where there’s often not a lot of clearance at the sides of the road, particularly downtown, meaning that any vehicle at the side of the road is at risk of being hit. In the case of a bus where there could be 30 or 40 people on board, that’s putting an awful lot of people on the bus at risk, not to mention passing drivers. I hope that drivers will be more responsible and leave the 417 and pull over at the side of the road after they’ve left the high-speed highway where it will be safer to stop.

As for the passenger in yesterday’s incident who demanded to know why the bus was 40 minutes late and upon not being told why encouraged his fellow passengers to complain, too, I think he needs to remember that the drivers are accountable to their employer (i.e. OC Transpo) for their job performance and not directly to the passengers. There can be circumstances beyond the driver’s control, such as being called in to replace a bus that broke down or heavy traffic that can cause a bus to be legitimately late. One shouldn’t automatically assume that it’s the driver’s fault that he or she is late. Even if it is the driver’s fault, there’s no need to be a jerk about it and take it out on the driver — call customer relations at 613-842-3600 or file a complaint online at http://www.octranspo1.com/about-octranspo/customer_service.

2 Responses to “OC Transpo drivers”

  1. kingthorin says:

    “There can be circumstances beyond the driver’s control, such as being called in to replace a bus that broke down or heavy traffic that can cause a bus to be legitimately late.”

    I fail to see anything there that a driver couldn’t have said to the inquiring party. Even if the driver was at fault, he has options beyond abandoning a running bus (which in itself is kinda stupid….). He could lie, he could blame OC, he could take the heat and say “ya I slept in…”, “my alarm didn’t go off”, “my dog ate my schedule” whatever… I guess if he took the fall the riders may have continued to harass him verbally. Either way he had simple and obvious options beyond exiting a bus and leaving it running (imagine the $hit storm if a rider had decided to take a joy ride….).

    BWT Gord your CAPTCHA is kinda junky… The foreground or interference is always some shade of blue (at least in the 15-20 reloads I did) and the background (textured or not) is always a drastic contrast difference from the text.

    • gordon says:

      You’re right, of course. The driver could have responded to the passenger, but we don’t know the full circumstances. It sounds like the passenger was being a jerk about it, so maybe the driver tried and couldn’t get a word in edgewise before things escalated. I’m not trying to say the driver was justified, just that we don’t know the full situation.

      I’m not sure what’s going on with the CAPTCHA. There was an update to it about an hour before you commented so maybe they’ve broken something. I’ll check it out this evening.


  1. gordon.dewis.ca | ATU 279 threatens to strike because drivers can’t blow up at passengers (November 18, 2011 @ 13:49)

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