Normal bus service could be up and running by this weekend.
Although OC Transpo is preparing to restart suburban and local service on Monday, OC Transpo general manager Alain Mercier said it is hoping to have regular weekend service operating by Saturday morning.
“That would let us shake down the system. Make sure everything is running correctly,” he said yesterday morning.
“Our plan right now would be to start service Saturday morning for normal weekend service.”
Yesterday morning, Mayor Larry O’Brien and Mercier greeted some of the first O-Train riders as it returned to service.
O’Brien called it a celebration of the return of transit after nearly eight weeks, and most of the people he spoke to were happy to see the train running again.
Despite having to rent a car during the strike and seeing his bicycle badly rusted by salt and snow on the road, Simon Lacharite, 26, said he had no hard feelings during his ride from Greenboro Station to Confederation Heights.
“I’m too happy to be here this morning, so I forget everything that happened,” said Lacharite.
But a handful of demonstrators followed O’Brien and Mercier, determined to register their disapproval that there ever was a strike.
“It doesn’t deserve to be a celebration,” said Duncan McGregor, who carried a sign that read, “52 days of Transit Hell. Buses gone til May. Welcome back is a joke.”
“We certainly tried as hard as we could to get the trains and buses back quickly and tried to negotiate a fair and reasonable deal,” said O’Brien.
“Not just for drivers, but for taxpayers who pay the majority of the expenses.”