OC Transpo may be bringing a few routes back sooner that expected, thanks to the provincial government.
On Thursday, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced that the Ministry of Transportation has “found a way” to accelerate the return of 160 buses to service two to three weeks faster than expected.
“What we all want to do now is get this system back up and running at 100 per cent as quickly as we can,” said McGuinty.
“We’ve found a way to do that with respect to the certification process.”
In a memo sent to councillors, the city’s director of communication and customer service, Denis Abbott, wrote that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation has given the city an extra month to complete maintenance and safety checks of buses that were due for recertification by May 1.
That means that 50 to 60 more buses would be put back into service within the next two weeks.
Details on which routes would receive bus service sooner will not be available for a couple more days.
After hearing the news, Mayor Larry O’Brien praised McGuinty, but said it was it up to OC Transpo general manager Alain Mercier to allocate where extra buses would go.
“I don’t want to speak for Alain, who is right now busy in his office working through all his scheduling and seeing what we can do even for Monday,” said O’Brien. “We have the drivers. We can put them to work as soon as the buses are available. This is just going to accelerate the whole program.”