Her bus pass is being extended; she will be taking an active part in the transition to a new Transit Director.

Cut line revised August 3, 2012

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON   June 25, 2012   Donna Shepherd, Director of Transit, was quite prepared to ride off into the sunset but the city finds they need her skill set and understanding of how the bus system actually works and have asked Ms Shepherd to continue to work, part-time – three days each week, out of City Hall and the Transit Operations Centre for six months on select transit and corporate priority projects to assist the City in achieving its objectives.

Mike Spicer will be acting Director as of August 1st.  The city expects a new Director will be in place by year-end.

Donna Shepherd  joined the city  in 1975 and since that time she has served the City well in leading the City in various roles, her most recent being Director of Transit & Traffic over a 12 year period from 1998 and Director of Transit over the last 2 years.

Just where was the problems with transit?  Senior levels at city hall want Shepherd to stay and help through the transition to a new Director. Was  the relationship between the Council member and the Director part of the problem?

“ The really senior “poobahs” at city hall speak very positively and proudly of the contribution Shepherd made while running transit.  Her “contributions will continue to have an enduring and positive impact on the City in areas such as the expansion and renovation of the Transit Operations Centre, the introduction of Transit Priority Measures and traffic safety programs, the implementation of the downtown parking financial strategy, various continuous improvement systems and programs, the PRESTO fare card and Metrolinx Joint Vehicle and Inventory Procurement projects and the creation of innovative transit promotion and ridership growth strategies.”

Donna’s leadership in excellence in customer service will provide a strong foundation for Burlington Transit going forward.”  Sounds like a pretty strong reference letter to me.

What then was the problem at transit that brought Shepherd to the point where she decided she had had enough and was going to pack it in?  Sexism is a very distinct possibility, being bullied a bit could go into the mix as well

The senior people at city hall weren’t cheap in their praise:  General Manager Scott Stewart said: “On behalf of all staff and Council, I would like to thank Donna for her strong leadership and management in growing and operating the Burlington Transit system. She has provided persistent commitment to keeping Transit at the forefront of our discussions during the last decade as our City has grown almost to its limits. Council and senior staff truly appreciate the contributions that Donna has made over the years.

I think the city is going to have the steering wheel of a bus bronzed and presented to Donna at her retirement party.



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