Nov 28, 2009

Transit strike cost city government $5.9M, auditor finds

Ottawa's public transit strike wasn't just bad for the pocketbooks of the city's transit employees. It was also costly for the city administration, with $5.9 million in direct costs, according to an audit released Wednesday.

The audit report found that wage and fuel savings were more than offset by lost pass and ticket revenue. City council gave transit riders generous deals to entice them back to transit after the 58-day stoppage of service.

But the city also had increased costs, such as $558,000 for increased snow removal, $362,000 for increased security and $400,000 to compensate colleges and universities to operate shuttle services.

The city initially said it was saving about $3 million a week during the strike.

The auditor wasn't looking at the cost of the 53-day strike to citizens and businesses, which were estimated to be in the millions of dollars each day.

Transit strike cost city government $5.9M, auditor finds.

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