An important update on Hamilton’s ongoing Transit Crisis, HSR Director Debbie Dalle Vedove states in an internal memo that she’ll be presenting a plan for responding to the Transit Crisis to City Council this Wednesday at the 5pm Council meeting.
“I have a series of steps I want to take to improve the customer and operator experience and provided a briefing to Council earlier this week to outline short, medium and long-term strategies to achieve this. I am going back to Council with a follow up report and presentation on Wednesday, November 8”, wrote the Director in the internal memo.
For months, the HSR has been cancelling bus trips, and experiencing delays in repairing many of its transit vehicles as the result of City Council’s decision to impose a hiring freeze for the first months of 2017, and the cancellation of the 10-Year Transit Plan.
As recently as three weeks ago, Council and the HSR were denying the crisis – which they only acknowledged after The Public Record released the results of our Freedom of Information request for HSR bus cancellations, staffing levels, and bus breakdowns. The City stated they could not provide the information, as they were not tracking it. The City sought $3000 from The Public Record for cancellations and staff information, and $5 for each bus breakdown record requested – with over a thousand breakdowns, the City is seeking another couple of thousand of dollars for information they should already be tracking.
The full memo, sent to The Public Record by multiple sources states:
I want to sincerely thank you for your patience and professionalism over the last few weeks while we have worked to address the service cancellation issues and the scheduling challenges that we experienced over the summer. I can appreciate that the recent attention in the media and social media can be unsettling.
I care about this organization and its people. I remember what it was like to be an operator like it was yesterday. I understand the challenges you face and the opportunities we have to make the HSR better.
There is a lot going on right now and there isn’t an easy way for me to communicate with our team individually or as a group. I have a series of steps I want to take to improve the customer and operator experience and provided a briefing to Council earlier this week to outline short, medium and long-term strategies to achieve this. I am going back to Council with a follow up report and presentation on Wednesday, November 8. I want to be able to share information with all of you as real time as possible and have a two-way dialogue about where you believe there are additional improvements to be made.
I care about what you think so I’d like to hear from you about how best I can communicate with you. This may include a Facebook page, texts and/or emails to your personal devices, an intranet site just for HSR staff, and other creative ideas you may bring forward.
Please drop your suggestions and preferences in the box where ‘Our People Surveys’ were placed for me to consider, or feel free to contact me personally. If you’re comfortable providing your personal cell number or email address, please leave it for me as well so I can develop a distribution list. Your personal contact information will remain confidential.
I know you take pride in your work – a vital service to so many in our community – and I want to remind you that the positive and professional work you do is highly valued and appreciated.
As always, you are welcome to contact me if you have questions or would like to speak with me personally.
[Signed by Debbie Dalle Vedove]