News / Calgary

Calgary Transit expecting layoffs as downturn hits hard

By the end of 2017 transit is projecting a $10 million revenue shortfall

Calgary Transit is evaluating layoffs based on reduced need for manpower and initial ridership projections.

Jennifer Friesen / for Metro

Calgary Transit is evaluating layoffs based on reduced need for manpower and initial ridership projections.

Calgary Transit is planning for layoffs, and it's not yet clear how many operators could be facing pink slips come September.

According to the Amalgamated Transit Union's communications with members, as many as 40 bus operators' jobs are on the line. But as Calgary Transit works to finalize figures, spokesman Ron Collins couldn't confirm how many employee positions need to go in order to balance budgets.

"We recently offered leaves of absence to bus operators before the start of September service based on reduced need for manpower and initial ridership projections," said Collins. "Several operators have accepted the leave of absence offers."

He added transit is currently working on projecting how much manpower they'll need along with other factors and hope to finalize that work in a couple of weeks.

"We are continuing work to minimize the impact on employees, but some layoffs are still expected come September," said Collins.

Rick Ratcliff, president of the ATU 583 said they are following the collective agreement to make sure rules and regulations are followed if there are layoffs. He wouldn't comment further.

In 2016 transit reported a $17 million revenue shortfall and for 2017 its projected they will be short $10 million. So far, year-to-date ridership is down four per cent over the same period last year.

"All of these steps are to ensure we’re operating as efficiently as possible and being fiscally responsible to the taxpayer," said Collins.

Coun. Shane Keating, chair of the Transportation and Transit committee said the city has to live within its revenue.

"I hope we're going to be able to go forward and do it in an acceptable manner," Keating said. "With attrition and things like that, you would hope they wouldn't actually have to lay anyone off."

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