A long-time OC Transpo rider says she’s appalled at the “communication breakdown” between transit staff following a bus accident downtown in which her daughter was hurt.
“Customer service is so bad,” said Shelley Pollock.
On Feb. 27, Pollock’s daughter, Zoe Crego, was riding Route 96 heading downtown from Kanata.
Just before 1 p.m., the 96 rear-ended another bus on Slater St.
“I was already holding onto the seat in front of me,” said Crego, 18, a University of Ottawa student.
“All the people around me lurched forward.”
In shock, Crego exited the bus and when nobody came to help, she began walking.
“I didn’t know what was happening. I just didn’t know what to do,” said Crego.
It was snowing and roads were slippery. A transit supervisor was on his way to the scene but Crego wasn’t aware.
She was late for her 1 p.m. mid-term and began walking toward campus and then knee pain hit.
“I was like, crying and hyper-ventilating.” Crego said.
Crego wound up at Carlson Wagonlit Travel, where she used the washroom then called Pollock at her downtown office. Pollock immediately phoned Transpo.
“The whole purpose of me calling was, there’s somebody injured — do something,” said Pollock.
The encounter with a “defensive” agent who she said blamed her daughter for leaving the scene left Pollock furious.
“He should’ve said to me, ‘there is somebody en route. Tell your daughter to go back,’” she said.
Pollock left work to meet Crego then saw the transit supervisor outside.
“He asked if I was OK, if I needed an ambulance,” said Crego, adding he gave her an ice pack.
The bus hit an icy patch and the driver isn’t being charged, said Ottawa police Const. Marc Soucy.
The city’s media relations department was asked to outline Transpo’s protocol for accidents where passengers are injured but did not provide details.
Pollock isn’t pleased.
“It’s not like they’re a little fly-by-night company,” she said.
Pollock left messages with a customer service manager, who later followed up.
“She said she’ll ‘take my suggestions under advisement,’” said Pollock.
Crego’s knee was banged up and will require physiotherapy.
She’s on crutches and also has whiplash.
“It’s too painful to walk around,” she said.
“My neck is the worst part.”
Pollock was shocked to find out she has to go through her car insurance company to file a claim.
That’s standard with Ontario’s “no-fault” insurance, says Pete Karageorgos from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
“If you were injured because a public bus is involved in a collision…then you go to that policy,” he said.
Riders without insurance can file a claim with the city and if that fails, consult a lawyer.
OC Transpo is investigating the incident.