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STO cancelling dozens of daily bus trips due to driver shortage

An STO bus approaches a station in Gatineau in 2019. The transit agency says a labour shortage is causing it to cancel dozens of trips a day, potentially until the spring. (CBC - image credit)
An STO bus approaches a station in Gatineau in 2019. The transit agency says a labour shortage is causing it to cancel dozens of trips a day, potentially until the spring. (CBC - image credit)

The public transit authority in Gatineau, Que., says a persistent labour shortage has forced it to cancel dozens of daily bus trips.

In a French media release, the Société de transport de l'Outaouais (STO) said the cancellations begin Monday, will mostly be during peak periods and won't affect weekend service.

The agency said it had to make difficult choices about which trips to cancel, but it took several factors into consideration including ridership.

One-off cancellations could be added as well. the STO said. Any cancellations are being shared on the STO's website.

It could take two to three months "maximum" before normal STO service is restored, said Coun. Jocelyn Blondin, chair of the agency's board of directors, in an interview with Radio-Canada.

The STO said it's eagerly seeking bus drivers and a recruitment campaign is in full swing.

Blondin added that a firm has been hired to recruit operators who already have their licences, meaning they won't have to go through as much training.