OC Transpo user says he was fired from two jobs because of cancelled and late buses

Max Well riding an OC Transpo bus. (Courtesy/Max Well)

To say transit rider Max Well is frustrated with OC Transpo would be an understatement.

"I was 25 minutes late because three buses didn’t show up," Well said. "I now have lost two jobs because I would show up late for a shift due to reasons out of my control."

Unable to get to work on time and fired, he says, because of unreliable public transit.

"Loblaws was like, 'you aren’t a reliable employee'. And I was like, I’m relying on the buses. I’m doing everything I can."

Despite paying for a monthly pass, Katelynn Cadieux has been forced to turn to Uber on occasion. She’s also upset there isn’t more warning from OC Transpo when a route has been cancelled.

"In the past two weeks it’s happened three times," says Cadieux. "It’s just when these flukes kind of happen and they don’t say anything about it, it gets really frustrating. When they know the bus isn’t coming but they just don’t say or announce it anywhere."

Hundreds of trips have been cancelled in part because of a new mandatory 30-minute break for drivers. OC Transpo is now on a hiring binge.

"So the half-an-hour break has obviously created more work, because you need the coverage for that half an hour break," says Clint Crabtree, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279 President. "And so therefore, with the coverage needed, you don’t have enough operators to cover the amount of work that’s put out there now."

Transit user Fatima Nabbus was told to leave a bus that wasn’t completing a route. She had to get off and call an Uber to get to work on time.

"There was one time where I got on the bus, it was on time, until we got to the station and he said, sorry the route is over now, we aren’t going to go all the way," says Nabbus. "I assume he had to go on a break. So there was no one to take over for him at the station so he said sorry the route is cancelled now."

OC Transpo says it hopes to hire nearly 300 more drivers this year, but it will take time. 

Too late for Max Well.

"OC Transpo played a role in my work seeing me as irresponsible," says Well. "Despite me doing everything I can. It’s not like I could do anything about it."