Brother's and Sister's
This past Friday evening myself, as well as ATU 1505 President John Callahan took out Member of Parliament Kevin Lamoureux on an evening ride along on a couple various routes on our buses, the 71, the 16 and the 33. Mr Lamoureux wanted to see first hand our buses, our technology, our safety initiatives as well as how the public treats our operators and about the safety of public transit in Winnipeg. Our evening started at CanadInn McPhillips where we hopped on a 71 Arlington headed down towards Selkirk Loop. Along the way i discussed with Kevin assaults on operators in Winnipeg, the frequency and severity, as well as what our protocols are when events like this happen, response times and security in general. John discussed the buses themselves and how they operate as well as promotion of public transit and a national transit strategy for funding and better services. When we got to Selkirk and McPhillips Loop we boarded a 16 Osborne heading out to Southdale. More discussions followed and Kevin was very interested in our ideas for security (ie transit police) and what we envision as a national transit strategy (ie BRT, LRT) We showed him our headquarters at 421 and he will be taking a tour in the summer to see how our operations and mechanical sides conduct their duties.
What struck me as very interesting is Kevin is very well known by all those he has served over the years. Every route we were on people came up and said hi and asked what he was doing. This showed me he is a politician of the community and has the support of his constituents. Kevin explained to us how bills are introduced to the house (upper and lower) and how they are read and then eventually passed. He was very impressed that the Transit Operator Security Bill is in the Senate and not House for vote and acceptance. He let us know that if it is coming from the Senate that it would pass a lot sooner than going through the regular house. More good news for us. Our last trip took us on a 33 where we discussed fare evasion, how much money we are losing by fare evasion and the technology of our new fare boxes and InfoDev systems.
2 and a half hours later we were back where we started. It was a uneventful night on our buses for Kevin but he gained a lot of insight into what goes on in our shifts, how we deal with it, what we need to do our job, our safety and most importantly how much pride our operators and mechanics have in the job we do.
This, brother's and sister's is what being proactive is about and what we are trying to stress in getting involved with our ATU activist training and getting out in the community with our federal and public officials and letting everyone know we NEED to support public transit.
Saturday June 14th is ATU Activist Training Day at the Union Center. If you have not already signed up please contact the office or FST Chris Scott and register, this is a volunteer event but will be a real learning experience and give you the tools and knowledge of how to promote public transit. If we do not make an effort ourselves, no one is going to do it for us. It is a about being PROACTIVE and not reactive as has been the case in the past. We the members, are the future of this local. It is up to us to decide our future. United we stand and divided we fall.
Please check this page often for updates as i will be posting weekly about how we are being active in the community.
Jun 2 14