Most OC Transpo bus drivers have gotten the hang of calling out the stops on their routes as they are required to do by both a 20-year-old policy and a 2007 order by the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Some drivers still do not, though, about 20 per cent according to OC Transpo’s own website.
In a recent experiment involving 12 bus routes passing through the downtown core, Centretown News found that 10 out of 12 drivers audibly called out major stops on the route. This works out to approximately 83-per-cent compliance, only marginally better than the 81 per cent OC Transpo posted in July.
The experiment involved buses on the transitway through downtown such as the 82 Tunney’s Pasture, the 8 Hull, the 96 Hurdman and the 87 Carlingwood, as well as buses that travel through residential areas or down main streets such as the 16 Alta Vista, the 6 Tunney’s Pasture, the 1 South Keys, the 4 Downtown and the 7 Carleton University.
That compliance rate of about 80 per cent, which was consistent from March to July, cost the city $5,000 in a fine from the CTA. On the same page, OC Transpo said it receives an average of 25 to 30 complaints per month related to stops not being announced.
Of the two drivers who a reporter could not hear calling the stops, one claimed he had but that his microphone must have been broken. If he is taken at his word, that leaves a compliance rate of 92 per cent for the day.
The issue of calling out stops was brought up in the wake of a complaint from Terrance Green, an Ottawa lawyer who relies on OC Transpo and is blind. He won a decision against OC Transpo at the CTA, which concluded that not calling stops “constituted an undue obstacle to Mr. Green’s mobility.”
The city has set aside $7 million to install automated systems, with the contract to be awarded this fall.