OC Transpo to address staff shortage with 1st ever

OC Transpo plans to host its first ever multi-day recruitment roadshow and job fair at the end of the month as it tries to make hundreds of hires this year.

Recruiters will set up booths at a number of transit stations from May 24 to 26 to speak with job seekers about current openings and how to apply, and will also hold a larger job fair at Greenboro Station on May 27 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

OC Transpo has “ambitious” recruitment goals this year to hire more than 500 staff, from bus operators and customer service representatives to special constables and licensed mechanics, said transit general manager Renée Amilcar. Most of those are to fill vacancies. 

The agency has already brought on 150 transit operators this year, but wants to hire 360 in total, she said.

OC Transpo has been dealing with a shortage of drivers for some time. When a trip on a bus route is cancelled, one of the most common reasons is that OC Transpo doesn’t have enough operators. That can include drivers who are sick, Amilcar said.

OC Transpo tracks and presents data on such cancellations every month. On an average day in March, for instance, 231 of 8,367 scheduled bus trips were not delivered — about three per cent. The routes most affected were the replacement buses for the north-south Trillium Line that’s currently under construction, as well as on routes 15 and 85.

Transit services has the most staff of any department at the City of Ottawa — and a thousand more than Ottawa police — with an estimated 3,250 full-time positions budgeted in 2023.

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