STO work-to-rule leaving some Gatineau commuters in the cold

Gatineau commuters are feeling frozen out, as the union’s work-to-rule pressure tactics lead to cancellations along bus lines of the Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO).

By Dylan C. Robertson

Tuesday morning, commuters were lined up in the freezing rain along the Rapibus expressway, STO’s answer to Ottawa’s Transitway. Bus drivers had marked 25 to 30 buses for repairs, including minor issues like wipers and secondary light bulbs.

“Because there are no overtime shifts being done, the work can’t keep up with the demand,” STO spokeswoman Céline Gauthier told Metro.

The agency is posting notices for morning and evening delays on its @STOGatineau Twitter account, and commuters can sign up for e-mail or SMS notifications.

The agency cancelled 14 bus trips Monday morning, and about 20 that evening. Tuesday started with 11 cancellations, and as of print time, STO claimed that “almost 80 trip cancellations” were looming. The delay for most rush-hour commuters is about seven minutes.

As part of last week’s federally mandated negotiations, both sides are set to meetMonday, and will schedule more talks if the labour disruption persists.

Meanwhile, the dispute is set to cut off most of Winterlude’s free bus service on weekends and Family Day, starting February 4.

While OC Transpo buses will facilitate the Sno-Bus shuttles between Confederation Park and the Rideau Canal Skateway, there will be no service across the river to Jacques-Cartier Park and the Centre Robert-Guertin.

The Heritage Department notes people can pay to use the regular OC Transpo and STO buses.

 

This article originally appeared in Metro News