July 23, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Reduction of service in RTC: “There is nothing to do with shortage of buses. This is simply not true,” says CEO Nicolas Girard

Reduction of service in RTC: "There is nothing to do with shortage of buses.  This is simply not true,” says CEO Nicolas Girard

Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC) says the lack of vehicles cited by the union to explain the reduction in service for the winter does not reflect reality.

After weekend revelations about 360 canceled departures every week this winter and a union walkout that blamed management for poor maintenance of available buses, the RTC also wanted to clarify the matter.

“In no case will the availability of buses affect the service offer in winter 2024,” explained RTC General Director Nicolas Girard.

RTC President Maude Mercier Laroche also clarified that “the RTC in no way blames its group of drivers.”

workforce

According to management, the main reason for this “planned” reduction in service is labor shortage.

“The number of applications received is double the number of applications received at the same time last year. The results are positive,” said Mme Mercier Laroche speaks of a return to normalcy in the spring.

“We started planning the service in July 2023 for winter 2024. At that time, we were short of 34 drivers to cover this period. The plan changes every season,” said Nicolas Girard.

According to him, unforeseen circumstances sometimes force some departures to be cancelled. “These terminations are temporary and unplanned.”

Breakdowns, missing parts, breakdowns, sick employees or blizzards can be found in the list of examples, according to the general director, who assures that these situations have nothing to do with the recruitment problem.

In recent hours, the union has rejected the RTC’s theory that a driver shortage justifies the withdrawal of 360 departures a week across its network.

“not true”

“We often find 25 or 30 drivers a day who don’t go out to stop their work because they don’t have a vehicle,” said the president of the Union of Public Transport Employees of Quebec Metropolitan (SETPQM). ), Helen Fortin.

“We rely on facts. It has nothing to do with the lack of buses. This is not true,” replied Mr. Girard.

Furthermore, Trajectoire Québec and Acès Transportes are viable organizations concerned about citizens who rely on public transportation in their daily lives.

“Reductions in RTC services are only the tip of the iceberg. We fear that this situation will repeat itself in the coming years,” said Sarah V. Doyon, General Director of Trajectoire Quebec.

Quebec First Chief Claude Villeneuve expressed concern about the cut in service, lamenting the RTC’s “lack of transparency.”

He lamented that there was a lack of transparency and confusion in the RTC.

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