Lethbridge—The president of the Lethbridge transit union is sending a strong message to City Council over their decision to divest the city’s school bus division.

“It’s harsh. They have decided to take money off the kitchen table of school bus drivers,” said Travis Oberg, President of Amalgamated Transit Union local 987.

A report by third-party consultants took aim at Lethbridge Transit and other city infrastructure by recommending the city break up the integrated transit operation and divest from school buses.

“Outsourcing school buses to big business will negatively impact those actually on the buses—drivers and the school children. Under the current system, there are no mark-ups or profits. All the money goes into providing the best quality service. By privatizing school buses, money needlessly goes to corporate owners, not quality for school kids,” added Oberg.

The local President is adamant that Lethbridge Transit professionals in the ATU provide world-class service.

“Lethbridge Transit provides a higher level of service than any other jurisdiction in terms of Access-A-Ride and the school bus service. We are extremely proud of that. The report actually says this in its summary. What doesn’t make any sense to me is that the conclusion is to dismantle the operations and divest from school buses,” said Oberg. “I am urging the city council to rescind this decision and instead reach a negotiated agreement with the school board.”