Thursday, July 28, 2011

Timing is everything

I'm beginning to think that the transit workers are not aware to the public perception of the service. The union's vow for job action (SP July 28/11) is not going to create overwhelming reaction from the masses. At this time of the year they can't even hold the students hostage to the threat.

I do think that Saskatoon needs a mass transit system. I've been to other cities that do have efficient services. So why can't we manage it?

Perhaps the problem is not the worker bees but the Queen Bee. What skills do the management of transit bring to the table? Many seem to have been promoted from the rank and file. Should the city be looking to an overhaul at that end?

We just keep pouring money down this drain and its still clogged. At what point do we consider replacing the drain?


  1. Mistress, have you not heard any of the transit workers speak in the last few years? They absolve themselves of any responsibility (somehow even for their rudeness) and lay the blame at managements's feet. Just wait for the first rank and file union member to start speaking out about how every little problem is management's problem.

    The reason our transit sucks is the union is so backwards it resists any type of change or improvement to the system. And any little improvement you want the union demands some form of compensation. Just a greedy greedy union.

    The transit workers saw what happened with the teachers, crop insurance workers and other striking unions in the last year. The people of Saskatchewan are sick of being held hostage by the unions and being told it is for our own good. Enough is enough, I hope I see a striking transit worker so I can let them know what the people think.

  2. How were they even allowed to work overtime to begin with when the City is as broke as it is?

    I guess, thanks transit workers for doing what your bosses should have done.

    Let em walk, and don't budget a inch on the City's offer. Does the union not realize how broke the City is right now, c'mon union boys use your heads.

  3. Our transit system should be shut down and totally overhauled. Our ridership numbers does nothing to alleviate traffic problems. Which is why it works in bigger cities. The only benefit is a social one which is coming out of my civic property taxes. Transit should be offered only at a a break even cost.

  4. Let the lazy, rude and greedy transit transit workers walk or better yet lock them out. After six months everyone will have discovered car pooling or other ways to get around and we will find out how few people actually use the bus. Save the city a cool 27 million/year and those pesky committees everyone is worried about.

  5. Tough for the union to a stance under this public's feelings towards civic services - like transportation.

  6. "Our ridership numbers does nothing to alleviate traffic problems. Which is why it works in bigger cities. The only benefit is a social one which is coming out of my civic property taxes. Transit should be offered only at a a break even cost. "

    You think traffic will get better with thousands more cars & bikes on the roads every day?

    I don't know of any public transit system that operates @ break even. They all are subsidised. If public transit had to charge riders "full fare" public transit simply wouldn't exist outside of very, very large cities with high population densities.

  7. Anon 1:46am. You have just proved the point of why it isn't required. You say there would be more cars causing more traffic problems. Maybe there would be more bike causing the city to act on redeveloping he road system and rules for them. A city our size will always struggle to provide quality public transportation as there is not enough ridership to make it a reasonable expense and although traffic is bad it is no where close to what major cities face. Why do the citizens that don't use this type of service need to subsidize those that do.

    I read in the paper that this would hurt the poor and working people. Come on by them a new bike it would be cheaper and more eco-friendly.

  8. If we are kicking Cosmo to the curb, we may as well kick the transit workers too.

    Have these idiots heard been listening to how much debt the City is in and how they are looking to cut services at all levels.... and they still have the gall to hold out over their greedy excessive demands.

  9. They will be locked out this weekend and I hope for a very long time every day will just be saving me money. A year long would be great then we will see if there is a need for a few. How about increasing the private sector taxi service. OOPs not really private when the city controls the numbers of licenses and amount they can charge.

  10. All of you who think that a city can do without transit are ignorant. The problem with people these days is that they only think of their own needs - "if I don't need it then it must be useless" . There are many people who depend on transit for such basic things as going to work and buying groceries- something that I'm sure many of you with your large and multiple vehicles never have to spare a thought for.

  11. As undemocratic as it is I am still surprised at the lack of defence for the transit system here. It is obvious a lot of people want the system overhauled. We have had at least two extensive transit studies done in the last decade and the system has not improved at all and increased ridership has not kept up to population growth. The studies done pretended to consult with riders but took very little action to follow thru on rider recommendations. We should start with getting rid of the downtown terminal and return to a simpler system where busses meet other busses at regular stops for transfers, run all busses on 1st and 3rd and make our new Traffic bridge so busses could use it and service Nutana and the Ex area without going down Broadway. Reduce the service area to inside Circle Drive and let people know that's as far as City Transit is ever going to go. Institute park and ride areas to reduce traffic pressure on Downtown and reduce service off peak times. The transit work disruption may be just what we need to realize what we have does not work, it needs to be completely overhauled stop recessatation this patient is dead.

  12. "The problem with people these days is that they only think of their own needs"

    I don't think it is so much that they only think of themselves, but rather the City needs to stop the spending madness.

    When we hear for the last month how broke the City is and all these services that need to be cut it is hard to jump on board and support the union trying to gauge as much from the empty pockets of the City as they can.

    This comes down to greed, and if there is some short term pain needed in order stabilize the system again then so be it. The unions in Saskatchewan really need a PR makeover, whoever is advising them lately are fools. How on earth do you serve strike notice after everything that has gone on this summer in Saskatoon.

  13. No, I think I mean that people here only think of their own needs. This is apparent in any discussion concerning cycling, transit, recycling and anything else that is a basic service provided by the city now or in the future. I don't think it comes up as much in discussions on the big ticket items because I think most people recognize that these are one time projects (and most everyone agrees that most of them are unnecessary).
    This is a trend, by the way, that I see not just in Saskatoon but in all of Saskatchewan and Canada.

    And, for the record , I also question the raises being asked for but I am not well informed enough to know when they last saw a raise and what the term of the contract was. I do think, however, that there are some legitimate issues that need to be sorted out by management and union alike which impact finances and transit service.

  14. Anon 9:42 you are delusional if that is how you view this situation. This is not about whether public transit should be provided. It is about another poorly run system trying to milk those who PAY for more money despite continuing to provide inadequate service.

    The people you hear complaining are the ones who continually get saddled with the bill for all these programs. I have no issue paying my share of taxes, but when the parade of programs that encourages people to not contribute continues on and on those contributing get frustrated.

    It's like being on a canoe trip with 15 people in the boat and only 6 are willing to paddle while the rest want to sit back and make demands on those paddling. Eventually you get to a point where enough is enough.

  15. This came up at a neighbourhood bbq get together last night, we don't live in the "burbs" but rather in an older core neighborhood. Out of fifteen people present none used transit and only one knew someone who did! Continued the question at work today on coffee breaks and lunch 1 in 10 either is a transit user or knew someone who used it! No wonder most of the buses you see are running around empty.

  16. This debate is completely asinine.

    If these posts represent "informed" voters in this city, we're screwed.

  17. Well that added a lot to the discussion 12:57 I know I am more "informed" now, on the subject of asinine you may very well be an expert

  18. I take the bus on a part-time basis -- maybe 2 or 3 times during the week -- and it's the utter lack of accountability on the part of both management and the transit union to do anything to improve service. When buses are late or early, we get no apologies from the bus drivers, but I've experienced buses taking off from me if I'm not exactly at the bus stop when they arrive (usually because I'm transferring from another bus). You can complain to customer service reps, but then what? There is no recourse for the rider, and the offending driver gets off (or gets a raise).

    A solution could be to privatize the service. Open up bidding to the entire city, or even just to the routes, and pay a subsidy per rider. The city wouldn't be on the hook to own and license buses, the ridiculous union-scale benefits would be reduced rightly, and there would be an incentive to increase ridership in the city. If the goal is to increase ridership, this is one way to do it.

    But we can't just be doing what we're doing now: tweaking routes, adding the occasional route on a whim (i.e. to the airport), keeping service amenities to a minimum. It's an insult to the current ridership and certainly won't help attract potential new customers.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.