Monday, August 16, 2010

Technical issues, please stand by...

Photo from OC Transpo LiveJournal user rickyrooster

Tough month so far for OC Transpo.

On August 6, an OC Transpo bus was hit by a cement mixer, resulting in four injuries to bus passengers. The next day, in the midst of an audit on scheduling practices, the Ottawa Citizen printed an article on OC Transpo's "poisoned" working environment, citing several workers' experiences.

Then last week, a bus engine caught fire (see above photo) on Monday. On Wednesday, the utility released their stop-announcement numbers: Still only 77 per cent, nowhere near the 100 per cent demanded to avoid further fines from the Canadian Transportation Administration (CTA) to comply with accessibility regulations. Then on Friday, a collision between a car and a bus left two individuals (the operator and a passenger) with minor injuries. And later on Friday, a second bus caught fire (by all appearances the same bus model: the Orion VI, according to the OC Transpo Livejournal community), bookending a pretty rough week for the corporation.

And on Saturday, more bad press: With unreliable elevators at major transit stations, some riders are faced with time-sucking detours, missing connections and wasting time. It is a serious accessibility problem, and could make OC Transpo vulnerable to more fines if an accessibility complaint is made (similar to that made about the previously-mentioned stop-calling deficiencies, which have cost OC Transpo $5,000 and $12,500 in separate fines).

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