This Damn Bus Strike! Ways of coping.

December 22, 2008

Unhappy customers

As the entire greater Ottawa region knows, OC Transpo drivers have been on strike since Wednesday December 10th. Without wanting to go into details, it appears that the main issue of discontent between the drivers and the city is not money but the control of work schedules. The city would like to remove the right of senior drivers to choose their shifts. This is seen as a money saving operation by the city government which would actually make sense. Instead of having senior drivers rack up overtime while younger drivers work thirty or so hours a week, wouldn’t it make sense for everyone to work a standard 37.5 or 40 hour work week like everyone else? I’m just saying…

The bus strike has angered many citizens. While the strike would have vastly disrupted the daily lives of many at any time of year, three factors make it worse at this particular point in time. It is now winter, the first snow storms have come and will keep coming and it sucks to walk two hours to and from work everyday. It’s getting close to Christmas and more people will be moving about to prepare for Christmas. At the same time, the current economic state means more people are more susceptible to watch their pennies and take public transport instead of a taxi. At that, trying to find a taxi has become next to impossible. In the last few days, I’ve read and asked around to try and see what alternatives Ottawa folks have used in lieu of the bus to get around town.

If there are some that I’ve forgotten please add them in the comments section!

1- Carpooling: a lot of work places have begun forums or posted carpooling options for people living in the same neighbourhood. It’s a fantastic idea and a nice opportunity to get to know more people from our work and neighbourhood. At the same time, it’s an initiative that has potential to last beyond the strike.

2- For the brave ones: bicycling. It’s snowed a lot in the last two weeks but some are still using old faithful. I can only congratulate them on their temerity and perseverance.

3- More relaxed parking rules at certain spots for vehicles: You are able to park all day where one-, two-, and three-hour parking is currently permitted. You are not able to park where stopping and parking are prohibited.

4- Bring your work home if you can.

5- Sharing a vehicle through VRTUCAR. Check http://www.vrtucar.com/

If there are any alternatives that I’ve forgotten please add them in the comments section!

Here’s a good website by a fellow blogger to stay in the know on what’s going on with the strike: http://www.transitottawa.ca/

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One Response to “This Damn Bus Strike! Ways of coping.”

  1. jmm285 Says:

    You forgot taxis. While they’re expensive, sometimes there’s just no other way. If you want to see how much a taxi is likely to cost you, check out this useful tool: http://ottawa.taxime.com You tell it your start and end points and it estimates the total price.


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