If the OC Transpo strike goes on any longer, people just might end up driving down the Transitway.

“There is a significant amount of interest in making this a reality, seeing what the blocks are and ways to overcome those problems to make it a safe and convenient alternative,” Mayor Larry O’Brien yesterday.

The 2,300 striking OC Transpo employees will vote on the city’s latest contract offer tomorrow at the Ottawa Civic Centre.

Union representatives are predicting it will be overwhelmingly rejected, which could further extend the strike, already in its fifth week.

In a special meeting to discuss the strike, city council voted to examine a variety of transportation strategies, including vehicular traffic on the Transitway, enhancing taxi service and creating parking incentives for carpoolers.

O’Brien said the motions passed yesterday were just the beginning of the alternate transportation arran­gements the city will come up with if the strike continues.

John Manconi, the city’s general manager of public works, said opening the Transitway needs to be very carefully analyzed.

“It’s never been done in the 25 years of operation,” he said. “We need to ensure that it’s going to be safe, it’s going to work and it’s going to help the broader community.”

The key challenge, said Manconi, is relieving congestion in the downtown core and the roads leading into the city. As traffic slows in the core, it causes a ripple effect throughout the city.

The city is considering credits and other possibilities for people who bought December bus passes. Deputy city manager Nancy Schepers said they are looking into what to do about the transit levy and what they can do to entice riders back when the strike is over. City staff will report on the options next Wednesday.