South Shore bus drivers bearing brunt of riders' wrath: union
The union representing South Shore bus drivers says the transit corporation's mismanagement is causing numerous schedule delays and that its members are the ones who end up facing the wrath of riders.
Union president Sylvie Champagne told CJAD 800 News her bus drivers are the targets of mostly verbal assaults by commuters frustrated with late buses. She said it's taking its toll.
"It's the stress, it's the aggravation, they're exhausted, they're at the end of their rope," Champagne said.
Champagne said the delays are due to road construction but also what they call poor scheduling by the transit corporation and a shortage of buses in the fleet thanks to new buses that have yet to be delivered.
Transit corporation spokesperson Nadia Goyer rejected the criticism, saying the union is being unfair.
"We have a planning committee who does the planning for the network in a very thorough fashion," Goyer said, adding they have little control over bus deliveries. She said the new buses are due in January and they could be on the road before that, though that's not guaranteed.
Goyer said the number of verbal and physical assaults against drivers has actually gone down over the past two years, based on reports from drivers themselves, from 119 in 2011 down to 76 for this year ending in September.
Goyer also dismissed complaints they haven't put up notices about the bus delays, saying they've been in local papers and up at bus terminuses for at least the past week or so.