Two weeks ago, I told the story of three Algonquin College students who were charged with trespassing after they were found near the transitway, snapping photos of the buses-only road. That led to two confrontations with a Transpo special constable. When one of the students, Nicole Thompson-Walker, stopped answering questions about her identity and address, she was arrested and handcuffed -- a silly and unnecessary use of force and authority.
But Transpo doesn't think so.
Then there was the story a few days later of Jackson Adeney, a 16-year-old cyclist who collided with a bus. He was still trying to understand how the operator could drive off, leaving him by a Barrhaven roadside with a separated shoulder. Was he offered an apology? They don't seem to do that at Transpo. But the city agreed Friday to pay for a new bike and some accessories.
And now there's Bryan Cook. He's a regular rider who was left wondering why he takes the bus after the treatment he received from fare-enforcement officers. As he was riding the bus to work on April 21, two officers approached him, one looked at his bus pass and then "told his buddy to, 'Come deal with Bryan'," says Cook.
The second constable took his pass and ordered him off the bus at the St. Laurent Transitway stop. He asked to see Cook's driver's licence, and then gave him a $150 ticket.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Hugh Adami's "The Public Citizen" column from this past weekend outlined a disturbing trend in strong-arm enforcement of OC Transpo rules and regulations recently, despite the obvious need to improve the transit utility's image after the public relations nightmare transit strike.