Mayoral candidate Jane Scharf has a few different ideas on how to complement OC Transpo bus service, from interprovincial rail service between Ottawa and Gatineau and aerial gondolas to add some spice to Ottawa's transportation infrastructure. But she also has several ideas based on her observations on how to improve bus service itself, which she thinks can help make for a more efficient service.
And there’s other things [I think are worth looking into], like putting more buses on the Transitway. It’s not overly busy, especially coming out this way—I’m in Kanata. It’s really congested--traffic congested--really badly. More buses, and more attention to that process. Like right now, it’s hard to use the Park’n’Ride, there’s not a lot of spaces; they could extend that, that would be cheap. Certainly cheaper than $2.4B. They could do all of that, what I just said, and that would make a huge impact on the congestion issues.
Scharf also thinks that there are big ways the city can change how they deal with the transit union in particular, and unions in general, to make for better relations and, as a result, better service.
I actually think that—this is a personal thing, I don’t even know if it’s something that they’re looking at in general—but personally, I think that the union process could be improved. And not just with OC Transpo, but everywhere, to make it more of a cooperative effort. For example, in Germany, in the 70’s they had a model of unions that was working really well where the government would train union negotiators and place them in a company, and once they’re placed they would be paid by the company, and it would be their job to set up a committee between management and labour—in equal numbers—and it was a requirement by law that all books would be open. And this labour guy just facilitated negotiations, and they had great results with it. Wages could go up, or down, depending on what profits were.
And it’s all open, so there’s not none of this adversarial ‘give us more’, ‘we don’t have any’, ‘give us more’, ‘we don’t have any’, that we have here. I think that you’d see better results, more effective. Doesn’t mean that I want them to change totally like that, but I think that they can go closer to that. For example, they could, say, make all the books open. Leave, by and large, the structure that’s there now, and just open all the books. To just the negotiating committee, not to everyone who works there, but whose ever coming on the negotiating committee.