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OC Transpo control centre manager named new GM of Ottawa school bus authority

The school bus authority for Ottawa’s English public and catholic schools has named a new general manager and chief administrative officer.

The Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) said Tuesday that Joel Lemieux has been appointed to the role. He begins April 15.

Lemieux most recently served as manager of the city’s transit operations control centre. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was also superintendent of transit operations from 2014 to 2016. OSTA says he began his career as a bus operator.

“Throughout his tenure with the City of Ottawa, Mr. Lemieux has demonstrated a proven track record of effective leadership and operational management, making him a valuable addition to the OSTA team,” OSTA said in a news release Tuesday.

“We are excited to welcome Mr. Lemieux to OSTA and look forward to the positive impact he will make in advancing our mission,” said OSTA Chair and OCDSB Trustee Matthew Lee in a news release. “His extensive experience and dedication to excellence will be invaluable as we work towards enhancing transportation services for students and their families across Ottawa.”

OSTA is appointing a new general manager after former GM Vicky Kyriaco left the organization in December following a leave of absence. The 2023-24 school year began without enough drivers, leaving more than 9,000 students in Ottawa’s English public and catholic school boards without school bus transportation.

Kyriaco has since announced a lawsuit against her former employer for constructive dismissal and aggravated damages.

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead OSTA and contribute to providing safe, reliable, and efficient transportation services for Ottawa students,” said Lemieux. “I am committed to working closely with the OSTA team and the OSTA Board of Directors to address challenges and implement solutions that meet the needs of our community.”

OSTA says, as of Feb. 29, it is still short nine drivers, down from 12 earlier in the month. The number of long-term cancelled runs has decreased to 37, representing 0.66 per cent of all transportation services managed by OSTA, it says.

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