STO axes Winterlude service, offers discounts as labour dispute drags on

La Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) is offering riders discounts and will not provide service to Winterlude this coming weekend, all because of an ongoing labour dispute.

By Ryan Tumilty

Drivers and mechanics have refused overtime and are reporting buses for repairs for even minor problems in the ongoing dispute, which has led to cancellations and delays in the system.

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Céline Gauthier, a spokesperson for the agency, said they want to offer riders compensation by way of recognizing that the service has not been performing at its best.

“It’s in order to compensate riders and to thank them for their loyalty,” she said. “We want to stay with them us.”

Multi-card users will get an automatic 25 per cent discount for monthly passes on the system, starting Wednesday. A regular fare on the pass will also drop from $3.40 to $2.50.

The STO is also suspending service to Winterlude events this weekend. The service normally runs a Sno-Bus from Ottawa to Jacques-Cartier Park, but drivers are not providing the necessary overtime for those shuttles.

While the union and the STO continue to negotiate, Gauthier said, they simply don’t know if the dispute will be resolved soon and Winterlude begins on Thursday.

“We can not guarantee anything,” she said. “We won’t be able to offer the shuttle this year, but the public can use regular service.”

This article originally appeared in Metro News.


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