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Riding the rails: 'I’m just exhausted' – LRT commute has overnight worker thinking about ditching transit altogether – Ottawa Citizen



The post-LRT bus service change cancelled one of the bus routes Rob Maybee used to be able to take, and reduced service on another, in addition to the extra transfer and leg of train travel for which he now has to account.

Rob Maybee, waiting for his bus after transferring from the train at Blair Station.

Taylor Blewett / jpg

—This week, this newspaper decided to spend several days during rush hour along the Confederation Line, talking to passengers and riding the rails. The following pieces profile just a few of the countless transit users with stories to tell about commuting on the Confederation Line. If you have one of your own that you’d like to share, please get in touch at 


When Rob Maybee wakes up for his commute to work, he’s usually managed to catch about five hours of shut-eye.

The overnight shift worker rises around 2:30 p.m. to catch a Route 40 bus from Elmvale Acres to St. Laurent Station at 4 p.m. Once at St. Laurent, he takes a light-rail train to the Confederation Line’s eastern terminus at Blair Station. He and hundreds of others hop off the train and hustle down to the street-level bus platform in the hopes of claiming a spot on one of the eastbound buses that are often packed to the brim, forcing would-be passengers to wait for the next bus on their route to show up — if it does at all.

While most commuters at Blair are finishing their workday and heading home, Maybee is gearing up for a 10 to 12-hour shift as a supervisor at a Trim Road manufacturing facility. Once he manages to board a bus for the final leg of his commute, he’ll hopefully make it to work at least a half hour before his 6:30 p.m. start so he has time to prepare his staffing plan for the shift. When he finishes his workday at 5 a.m., it’s time for another 90-plus minutes in transit — if he’s lucky — to get home, sleep, and do it all over again.

“I’m out of the house upwards almost 15, 16 hours a day,” said Maybee, 43. “You run on five hours sleep — by the end of the week, I’m just exhausted. My weekend’s pretty much shot, trying to catch up.”

It wasn’t always like this. Before the September opening of the Confederation Line, Maybee said his commute took two buses and 45 minutes, even on the busiest day. The post-LRT bus service change cancelled one of the bus routes he used to be able to take, and reduced service on another, in addition to the extra transfer and leg of train travel for which he now has to account.

“It’s a huge difference,” said Maybee. And he feels it. With a job where he’s overseeing multiple people and spends most of the night on his feet, five hours of sleep isn’t really cutting it.

“I’m sure one of these days it will come to — I miss something major, or I may not even wake up for work just because I’m so tired.”

In addition to his sleep schedule, his new commuting routine is affecting his wallet. Once or twice a month, whether due to bus cancellations or LRT service outages, he has to ditch transit and call an Uber to get to work on time.

“I’ve got staff that are waiting for me,” he said. “I can’t call them like an hour before to say, ‘I’m not coming because of the trains.’ I have to go to work, I have to suck it up and pay the 20 bucks for an Uber.”

Now spending about $50 a month on ride-hailing services on top of his transit pass, Maybee said he’s compelled to consider an option he can’t really afford – buying a vehicle.

Born and raised in Ottawa, he’s mostly relied on transit since he was a teenager. But, in recent months, the prospect of ditching OC Transpo has grown increasingly tempting.

“I’m getting tired of dealing with this,” Maybee said. “It’d be a lot easier to just get a bit more sleep and be able to get to work every day.”


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Pre-owned business jet shortage drives sellers’ market, demand for new luxury planes



A shortage of newer-model business jets is driving up prices of second-hand aircraft, a trend that is expected to deliver a windfall for luxury planemakers as new affluent buyers enter the market.

After a turbulent 2020 due to COVID-19, the rush toward private transport is so marked that some buyers are snapping up second-hand planes before fully inspecting the wares as the market shifts toward sellers, lawyers and brokers said.

That is expected to push up demand for new jets from planemakers like General Dynamics Corp‘s Gulfstream, Textron Inc and Bombardier Inc since buyers have fewer pre-owned options, and the price gap between old and new narrows.

“There are virtually no young pre-owned aircraft available – good news for would-be sellers and for (planemakers),” said aviation analyst Rolland Vincent.

He recalled one trucking company’s recent search for a pre-owned Gulfstream jet: “There was one aircraft in the world that fit their requirements.”

Traffic from business jets, which carry roughly a handful to 19 travelers, has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in the United States, the world’s largest market for private aviation, according to FlightAware data.

“On the pre-owned side, inventory appears to be fairly low, and that’s always a benefit to new aircraft sales,” said Scott Neal, senior vice president worldwide sales, Gulfstream.

“We are seeing strong interest across the board from first-time buyers and high net worth individuals as well as corporate customers with a desire to grow their fleets.”

Textron in April raised its full-year profit forecast, propelled by a rebound in business jet demand.

The trend could encourage some planemakers to increase production rates, although any ramp-up would hinge on supply chain capabilities, Vincent said.

Planemakers do not disclose total number of orders.

Preowned aircraft for sale in May accounted for 6.6% of the worldwide fleet, the lowest level recorded in 25 years by JETNET data, Vincent said. He said 864 pre-owned business jets sold during the first four months of 2021, up 36% from the same period last year.

“There are multiple offers on planes,” said Florida-based aviation attorney Stewart Lapayowker, founder of Lapayowker Jet Counsel PA.

Amanda Applegate, a partner at Aerlex Law Group, said she handled more deals for new jets than usual in May, as buyers fail to secure popular pre-owned planes like the G650, raising prices.

Applegate said it’s a case of pent-up demand as some wealthy travelers previously avoided private jets due to concerns like “flight shaming” over the environment. Corporate planes burn more fuel per passenger than commercial.

But since COVID-19, buyers have been shifting to private aviation to avoid airport crowds and coronavirus variants.

Applegate said some deals are so competitive she’s seen buyers give up pre-purchase inspections to win them.

Don Dwyer, managing partner at Guardian Jet, which does aircraft brokerage, appraisals, and consulting, recalled one case where a client didn’t undertake a pre-purchase inspection, which can take more than a month to complete.

It was a particular case since the plane was highly coveted, in good shape based on a visual inspection, and the seller was reputable, Dwyer said.

“I don’t recommend it, but in certain situations it can work.”


(Reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Denny Thomas and Steve Orlofsky)

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Ford starts shipping Bronco SUVs from Michigan assembly plant



Ford Motor Co said on Tuesday it had started producing and shipping the new Bronco sport utility vehicles (SUVs) from its Michigan assembly plant, following a delay in the launch of the SUVs due to COVID-19-related issues with the automaker’s suppliers.

Customers have booked more than 125,000 sixth-generation Bronco SUVs since the beginning of the year, the company said. The SUVs are targeted at the Jeep Wrangler market segment.

Ford said it had made more than 190,000 reservations for the Bronco in the United States and Canada.

The company built the first generation of Broncos from 1966 to 1977, and withdrew the line in 1996 amid falling demand.

Ford said it had invested $750 million into and added about 2,700 jobs at the Michigan assembly plant to build the new Broncos.


(Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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Lufthansa sets 2024 goal, eyes capital increase



Germany’s flagship carrier Deutsche Lufthansa said it aims to boost its return on capital employed (ROCE) and laid out plans for a capital increase as it prepares for a business recovery amid an easing coronavirus pandemic.

The largest German airline aims to have an adjusted EBIT margin of at least 8% and an adjusted ROCE of at least 10% in 2024, it said late on Monday.

Adjusted ROCE was –16.7% in 2020 and 6.6% in 2019.

The group added it had mandated banks to prepare a possible capital increase, though size and timing have not yet been determined and the German state, which has bailed out the airline during the pandemic, has not yet given its approval.


(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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