Tuesday, October 14, 2008

City proposes route cuts to save money

Sometimes I just wonder. When ridership is at its highest, when public transit planning is a key policy issue for the city, when the city is trying to move towards promotion of using OC Transpo, the City of Ottawa is apparently considering drastic OC service cuts in order to curb city-wide fuel consumption.

A story in the Ottawa Sun published a report from city staff exploring the repercussions of attempting to cut fuel consumption by 25%. The nature of paying users means that the issue is not as clear as one might think:

"There would likely be a decrease in public transit ridership of between 10% and 15%. This would translate into a loss of 32,000 to 48,000 passengers per day," the report says. "Currently, OC Transpo relies on revenue for 50% of its operating budget. A loss in ridership of this magnitude would generate a substantial loss in revenue, which could further negatively impact the overall operations of the service."
Sometimes difficult decisions have to be made when trying to balance a budget, but this seems like a decision headed backwards. According to the Sun, the proposal includes the following measures:
  • Routes 45, 123, 137, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 147, 164, 165, 167, 179, 181, 186, 187, 188, 194, 193, 197 would be cut.
  • Service along the Transitway would be reduced by 25%.
  • Service to the rest of the city would also be reduced by 25%.
  • Morning service to Riverside South would be eliminated.
  • It recommends staff who use municipal vehicles plan efficient travel routes, use air conditioning sparingly, ensure tires are properly inflated, avoid idling, drive the speed limit, and avoid abrupt stop and starts.
  • Para Transpo uses 3% of fuel purchased by the city, while the O-Train uses 1%.
More information as it becomes available.

3 comments:

David said...

I saw this news late last week, and I could barely even believe it. Transit in this city is finally starting to go in a positive direction, ridership numbers are up across the board, and the city wants to reduce service by 25%? I hope they come to their senses and realize just how stupid an idea this is, or at the very least hold some public consultation meetings so that transit users can tell them how terrible this idea is.

Anonymous said...

jeffery murphy

i dont think it should happen all of the bus should be cut but the 147 is the only way i can get to school so if cut it a lout of people will be so mad in ottawa i dont think its right to make use kids go throug some forest that we have never been in so kids will be getting lost ps thanks to you ps the military people also have to get to work ps the military base depends on the 147 like i sayed alout of people are not going to be happy with the oc just becaus of trying to save money

Anonymous said...

!I think this is very ridiculous that they are jeopardizing teens to save money. I am a teen myself who lives on the military base as Jeff. The 147 is the only bus that comes on this base. If they take that away from us, we have to walk at least 10 minutes in a forest. Where it definitely isn’t safe, just to get to the closest bus stop. They really need to see which buses they need and don’t need. In my case when my parents are gone away the last thing they need is to worry about there children not getting to and from school safely