Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Transit fatigue?

The Ottawa Sun had an interesting article today about mass frustration on the part of Ottawans with the inability for City Council to actually get something done about improving transit in the city. Dubbing the phenomenon 'transit fatigue', Sun author Susan Sherring discussed the history of Ottawa's transit stagnation:

What is really amazing is not that less than three dozen Joe Citizens showed up on Monday, but that anyone would still believe after years of failure that their input actually means anything.

The debate over the future of the city's transit system -- light rail, buses, tunnel or no tunnel -- has been going on since the days when Andy Haydon ruled the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton with an iron fist.

Yet now, several decades later, there's still no overall picture. No tunnel, no light rail but the O-Train, no system meeting the demands of the national capital's transit riders.

Sherring's story ends on a rather cynical note, stating that "If they're lucky, council will get the shovel in the ground before the next election. History suggests once a new council or new mayor take over the reins of power, all deals are off."

Hopefully this is not the case, and people are still willing and eager to involve themselves in the public consultations the city will undertake. The faster voices are heard, the faster a decision can be made, and the faster something can be started.

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