Despite his status as a bit of a local legend, Ottawa bus driver Yves Roy has been told to stop singing.
Roy, who's known in Canada's capital as the singing bus driver, was told to stop after his supervisor said he had received a series of complaints.
“You can never please everybody,” Roy told the Ottawa Citizen. “I was shocked that they hadn’t told me yet. They had people who want peace and quiet, some say I scream, that I can’t keep a tune. But I have many commendations that came at the same time and lots of verbal compliments of people who tell me to keep it up, pat me on the shoulder, and tell me I made their day.”
Ottawa mayor Jim Watson defended the decision to stop the driver from singing, saying he didn't want to create a free-for-all on the city's buses.
"If we allow a driver to start singing and entertaining how do we say no to a passenger who wants to start tap-dancing or doing stand-up comedy," Watson told the CBC.
Diane Deans, the chairwoman of OC Transpo, echoed the mayor's statements and said that professionalism was more important.
"You don't want to squash people's enthusiasm and obviously he's a positive person and a lot of our customers have enjoyed hearing him sing, but the reality is we have to run a professional workforce and we have to have rules," Deans told the CBC.
Videos of Roy's singing have been posted to YouTube and the majority of the comments are supportive of his musical stylings. "A great singer probably the best ride I ever had," one commenter posted. "How mean-spirited those bureaucrats at OC Transpo are! Some of them need to get a life!," wrote another.
Ottawa transit riders have taken to Facebook to try to get Roy singing again. A group called "Let Ottawa's Singing Bus Driver Sing" has almost 500 likes as of Wednesday afternoon. There's also an online petition circulating.
This comes right on the heels of a much more serious PR nightmare for OC Transpo. Earlier this week, a video of a very irate driver swearing, shouting and threatening a passenger was posted online and was picked up by news outlets across Canada.
A second video of an Ottawa bus driver allegedly reading while driving was also posted online and is causing more headaches for the transit body.
On Twitter, many see the transit system's treatment on Roy as opportunistic and a distraction.
While blogger Dennis Van Staalduinen argues that the city missed a really good PR opportunity to celebrate one of the things that makes Ottawa unique.
What do you think?
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