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DRT responds to concerns of resident

Dear Editor,

I read with interest last week’s Letter to the Editor from Mr. Ron Horner, but wish to correct some inaccuracies about DRT.

He compares the transit systems in Durham and Toronto, but as we know, Durham Region and the City of Toronto serve vastly different population densities and transit volumes.  For context, the ridership of the TTC is 52 times that of DRT, and its fleet of buses and rail cars is 18 times the size of DRT’s. And while some of our fares are a little higher than those on the TTC, others, such as our monthly passes, are substantially lower.

DRT ridership is growing and customer satisfaction is high, thanks in no small part to successive service increases and improvements over each of the past few years, as well as strong schedule adherence. DRT’s dedicated team of bus drivers strive to never run early and no more than five minutes behind schedule. This five-minute buffer allows for connections between buses/routes, while also accounting for variations in traffic, weather and passenger volume conditions that can affect route performance at any given time. Schedule times are reviewed and adjusted on an ongoing basis. And, as always, safety is paramount.

On the issue of employment, both DRT and The Regional Municipality of Durham have a transparent equal opportunity policy for the hiring process of any candidate, including relatives, which is based on the skill and ability of the candidate in relation to the requirements of the job. This applies to summer students as well, who, contrary to Mr. Horner’s statement, do not receive employment benefits. Like any other successful candidate, students receive the appropriate health and safety training required by law. The hiring of students is based on budget availability and the operational needs of our service, however our student employees represent a small portion of our overall staffing compliment.  It is DRT’s and the Region’s objective to hire the best candidate for a role, as we continue providing exceptional customer service to our community.

I encourage Mr. Horner and all Oshawa Express readers to watch for upcoming public information centres (PICs) scheduled in April throughout the region. These drop-in sessions are a great way to learn more about DRT’s proposed service plans for 2019 and beyond, are very well attended, and are a great opportunity to share your views.

Vincent Patterson General Manager Durham Region Transit