Ottawa Transit Union calls on OC Transpo, City of Ottawa to Better Manage Winter Weather


OTTAWA – ATU Local 279, the Ottawa local of the Amalgamated Transit Union, representing over 3,000 transit workers in the City of Ottawa is calling on its employer OC Transpo and the City of Ottawa to better plan for Winter weather after the disastrous handling of the Winter storm earlier this week as the city was pummeled with close to 50 cm of snow.

According to the local’s president, Clint Crabtree, over 150 OC Transpo busses were stranded on Ottawa roads, some for up to eight hours.

“As a result of the poor to no communication from OC Transpo’s dispatch during the storm this week some operators were stranded for hours.” Said ATU 279 President, Clint Crabtree. “In a city like Ottawa where we regularly see large snowstorms, it is unacceptable that we do not have adequate measures to react in situations like this and keep our transit workers and riders safe.”

Reports from workers on the ground said that instead of focusing on helping stranded operators, OC Transpo sent more buses, leading to more getting stuck and a backlog of stranded vehicles. In addition to operators facing extreme difficulties, riders were also affected significantly not only in terms of inconvenience but also safety.

Crabtree says that the events of this week made it clear that OC Transpo needs to take another look at their priorities and make significant improvements to how they deal with winter service.

“We know that this snowstorm was particularly bad but that does not mean that riders and drivers should be stranded or put in harms way.” Said Crabtree. “OC Transpo needs to develop a better plan that allows city services to adequately clear snow in these instances so something like this does not happen again. We expect better from OC Transpo.”


For Media Inquiries:

Clint Crabtree


[email protected]