Union demanding answers as COVID-19 cases spike among OC Transpo drivers
August 25, 2020
The head of OC Transpo's union wants the city to get to the bottom of what's behind a recent COVID-19 outbreak among drivers.
Seven drivers have tested positive for the virus so far this month and there are worries among transit advocates that the spike in cases could raise fear among transit users.
"Let's trace it properly and see where it's beginning and that is my expectation from the employer, to find out where the root is of this problem and get it corrected," said Clint Crabtree, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union local 279.
He said it's not just transit users who are worried about contracting the illness.
"There's been fear and anxiety amongst my membership since this pandemic began."
Stage 2 rail contractors still on track despite pandemic, councillors told
Sept 1, 2020
Ottawa's director of rail construction assured councillors Tuesday that the pandemic hasn't caused any major problems that might delay construction on the second stage of the city's light rail network.
Several councillors on the city's finance and economic development committee had the same question for Michael Morgan: Is the $4.66-billion project experiencing delays due to COVID-19?
It's not surprising that council members would be preoccupied with timelines, given that the first stage of LRT, which opened one year ago, was 16 months behind schedule.
Kiewit and Vinci Group are supposed to extend the Confederation Line east to Trim Road by 2024 and west to Moodie Drive by 2025. SNC-Lavalin, which came under great public scrutiny when it was revealed it had won the Stage 2 contract despite failing to meet certain technical requirements, is supposed to extend the north-south Trillium Line to carry passengers to the Ottawa International Airport and Riverside South by 2022.
"Everyone's on board to deliver as required," Morgan reassured councillors Tuesday.
LRT marks 1st birthday with few riders — and fewer issues
Sep 14, 2020
Reliable and fast. Few delays. Not crowded.
That's how some riders described Ottawa's light rail system last week, and they're not words that would have been used during the darkest times of the Confederation Line's first year.
And with a litany of issues from flat wheels to snagged overhead wires, there were many such times. But as the white-and-red electric trains carry passengers into a second year, the picture is now dramatically different.
"There's nobody on it. It's pretty quiet. You're not worrying about somebody slamming the door open and stopping the train from moving," said rider Jane Phoenix.
"There's plenty of room, plenty of seats, and I feel safe."
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