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Reduced service at the Regional Transportation Center: “This has nothing to do with the bus shortage.  “This is not reality,” says CEO Nicolas Girard.

Reduced service at the Regional Transportation Center: “This has nothing to do with the bus shortage. “This is not reality,” says CEO Nicolas Girard.

The Capital Transport Network (RTC) confirms that the shortage of vehicles referred to by the union to explain the reduction in service for the winter does not reflect reality.

Following weekend revelations about the cancellation of 360 departures each week this winter and a union walkout that blamed management for mismanaging available buses, the RTC also wanted to clarify the matter.

“The availability of buses has in no way affected the provision of the service for winter 2024,” explained Nicola Girard, Director General of the RTC.

“The RTC does not in any way blame its group of drivers,” RTC President Maud Mercier Laroche explained.

Labor

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

“We have double the number of orders than at the same time last year,” added MI Mercier Laroche talks about returning to normal life in the spring.

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

According to him, sometimes unforeseen situations may lead to the cancellation of certain departures. “These cancellations are ad hoc and not planned.”

Breakdowns, missing parts, breakage, employee illness or a snowstorm can be found in the list of examples, according to the general manager, who stresses that these cases have nothing to do with the employment issue.

In recent hours, the union rejected the RTC’s theory that a driver shortage justified the withdrawal of 360 weekly departures on its network.

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“Not realistic”

“We can often find ourselves with 25 or 30 drivers a day, who don’t go out to do their work because they don’t have a car,” said the president of the Federation of Public Transport Employees of Quebec. ), Hélène Fortin.

“We are relying on facts. It has nothing to do with the bus shortage. This is not a reality,” Mr. Girard replied.

Furthermore, the organizations Trajectoire Québec and Accès Transports Viables are concerned about citizens who depend on public transportation in their daily lives.

“RTC service cuts are likely just the tip of the iceberg. We fear this situation will be repeated in the coming years,” said Sarah V. Doyon, general manager of Trajectoire Québec.

Claude Villeneuve, president of Quebec First, lamented the “lack of transparency” at the RTC regarding this reduction in service.

“There is a lack of transparency and confusion on the part of the RTC,” he lamented.

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