Airdrie Transit services unaffected by rise in COVID-19 cases: union

While other urban centers in Alberta face transit staff shortages and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Airdrie has not been affected, according to local transit officials. public transport and union representatives.

While other urban centers in Alberta face transit staff shortages and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Airdrie has not been affected, according to local transit officials. public transport and union representatives.

Airdrie Transit crew chief Chris MacIsaac said the city’s transit service has had no issues with staff availability since the pandemic began.

“We have never had to adjust services due to COVID-19 or staff availability. We reduced service when customer demand was lower, but that had more to do with public demand than anything on our end,” MacIsaac said.

MacIsaac said no future delays are expected for transit users, and he noted that Airdrie Transit has plans in place to continue operating at 100% capacity.

Three regional routes provide transit to Calgary, which are operated by Airdrie Transit and they operate on schedule.

Travis Oberg, president of ATU Local 987, said of Airdrie’s roughly 19 transit staff, only a handful of sickness absences have occurred due to COVID- 19 since the beginning of the pandemic, and that these have not had an impact on service levels. .

“They had a few illnesses but nothing impacted the ability to provide full service provided by Airdrie Transit,” Oberg said.

He added that Calgary is in a completely different situation and has been hit with massive amounts of COVID-19 cases among Calgary Transit workers.

“That’s one of the reasons the City of Calgary decided to shut down the service because they just can’t keep the operators in their place due to illness,” he added.

Calgary Transit announced Jan. 16 that the increase in COVID-19 cases resulting from the Omicron variant has impacted staffing levels and resulted in changes to bus routes.

Edmonton’s transit service, similarly, has been hit by staffing shortages due to COVID-19 in recent weeks, while the City of Red Deer announced earlier this month that Service interruptions could impact local transit operations, due to the number of absent employees. sick.

Melvin Z. Madore