Two of Ottawa’s three O-Trains have been derailed due to maintenance problems, which the city’s transit union is calling another case of mismanagement at OC Transpo.
Crumbling cement around a hoist in the train works yard is preventing needed repairs to two trains, meaning riders will see delays as one train is left to service the route every 30 minutes.
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Kimberly Weston-Martin, acting manager of Transit Support, said the rail delays were unforeseen, but service should be resolved “within the next few days.” However, Amalgamated Transit Union 279 president Andre Cornellier predicted it could be months before the trains are repaired.
“They should be getting repairs, but they can’t hoist them,” said Cornellier. “It looks like it’s going to be a long time … until they get a tender to come in and fix the crumbling cement and the old O-Train building yard.”
Cornellier said Train No. 1 has needed repairs to its wheels and transmission for more than a month, and Train No. 3 broke down on Monday.
“They are stuck with Train No. 2. One train — and if that breaks down, they would be unable to fix it,” he said.
Until the trains are running again, Weston-Martin said shuttle buses will be filling the gaps in service from Monday to Saturday.
At the train stations, posters informed riders of the schedule change and where to find the shuttles.
“I’m probably going to avoid the train for a while,” said Chris McGuire. “At least until I know the schedule is back to normal.”
”It’s a pain,”? said Adam Taska. “The O-Train is the one component thing that was always on time and dependable. It’s temporary, but it’s unfortunate.”
Last month, a report by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279, entitled A Transit System In Crisis!, blasted the city’s commitment to repair the transit fleet.
On June 18, ATU representatives will make a presentation to the city transit committee, urging it to restructure responsibilities for transit under one umbrella to better manage OC Transpo.
Yesterday, the city’s O-Train schedule was modified to run south from Bayview Station on the hour and half hour. It will make the return trip north from Greenboro at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour.