Two veteran OC Transpo bus drivers have become Ottawa’s first-ever female O-Train operators.
Margaret Bicknell, a 14-year bus operator, and Margaret Lafrance, an 18-year veteran, will be the first females to drive the O-Train, but both say they didn’t set out to be trailblazers.
“I was just looking for a new opportunity,” said Bicknell.
It may seem strange that no female operators have taken the helm of the O-Train since the service launched in 2001, but Bicknell said it was just a matter of seniority. Those with the most seniority were offered the jobs first.
Since only 10 per cent of bus operators are women, it took a while for the job to come available to a woman.
Both women applied for the job two years ago, but they did not start training until this past December.
The new train operators start their jobs at the same time OC Transpo is launching a new recruiting campaign.
“I think, they really want to impress upon the women in the city … that they should apply for a job even if it is predominantly men, because those stereotypes don’t exist anymore,” said Lafrance. “If you want to do a job you should go ahead and try for it.”