Friday, January 30, 2009

O-Train might open early next week, bus follows week later

The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that the city's O-Train might be running again as early as Feb. 2, and buses will potentially be back on the road on the following Monday, Feb. 9.

OC Transpo general manager Alain Mercier announced several incentives designed to lure riders back quickly, the paper said, including:
  • Letting riders use passes from December in February,
  • Free weekend service, and
  • Free rides for seniors on Wednesdays
The system will be running at 80 per cent capacity when buses start rolling.

13 comments:

Kate Hunt said...

Thanks for being so on top of this! The OC Transpo site is completely uninformative about their back-to-work schedule, and I'm trying to make plans for next week... this is the first place I go for news about transit now, you post what's happening faster than Transpo does. Keep up the good work!

Raymond R. said...

As a monthly pass holder, I am dissappointed that OC Transpo seems to think that using the December pass for February is fair. It only covers 20 days in February compared to the 22 days without service in December. I think I will ask a refund for my pass and buy tickets. After all, weekends will be free for a while.

TD said...

I'm pumped about the O-train. I am an O-train only transit user (I chose to live in a place where I could get to and from work with only the O-train) so this makes me happy. Thanks for the updates!

Anonymous said...

I don't think they are doing nearly enough to bring people back. One week (in which there won't even be full service) is more of an insult than an incentive.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that they think that their offer is going to make riders happy. I too am going to refund my december pass and use bus tickets for the weekdays. What happened to all the money the city saved when the buses weren't running?

Anonymous said...

Yes I have the same question. What happened to all the money the city saved when the buses weren't running?

Dwight Williams said...

Good question.

As for the "80 percent capacity", anything that leaves the express routes out and shuts down the local "1xx" routes during peak hours isn't exactly what I'd call "80 %". More like "self-sabotaged".

Anonymous said...

What happened to all the money the city saved when the buses weren't running?

The short answer is that not that much money was saved. Costs were shifted.

The other point is that free service in times when the buses are running at between one fourth and half capacity doesn't really make a lot of sense.

Read the paper for more details.

Anonymous said...

As for the "80 percent capacity", anything that leaves the express routes out and shuts down the local "1xx" routes during peak hours isn't exactly what I'd call "80 %". More like "self-sabotaged"

I'm intrigued. How do you mean?

You think it makes more sense to have feeders going to high traffic routes and then no buses on the high traffic routes?

Maybe that would work in Gotham...

Dwight Williams said...

We can discuss the possibilities of the transit systems of the DC Comics Universe fictional cities elsewhere, please. My own blogs would be two good places to do so. And DC has message boards hosted by warnerbros.com as well, if you prefer.

That aside, I think you misunderstood what I said. People who stay in their own neighbourhoods still want to be able to get around those same neighbourhoods in a reasonable amount of time. And the reasons for the rush-hour lines to exist pretty much haven't changed either, so far as I can tell.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I did misundersatnd I guess.

I agree that it sucks those lines are down. But with the estimates from the mechanics two weeks ago saying so buses are in poor repair, it seems there are very limited resources. The question is not whether there should be more buses running (unfortunately, because of course there should) any more, after this strike, but rather where can the relatively few buses that are available best serve the largest group of users (including of course failing businesses in the core).

Anonymous said...

In the Citizen article, it says that the "80 per cent of full capacity" includes 60 per cent of peak-hour service an 100 per cent of off-peak service, which likely means they just took the average... It seems to me that "peak-hour service" would involve a lot more buses than "off-peak service" which would change the weightings. I'm not sure that's sound mathematical reasoning.

On A-Channel news at 6, they interviewed a bunch of mechanics that said the buses were in much better shape than expected so hopefully that bodes well for us.

While we wait though, I suggest an e-mail/letter-writing/phone campaign to OC Transpo letting them know that their paltry offering isn't good enough. If you're not happy with their decision, let them know!

Anonymous said...

On A-Channel news at 6, they interviewed a bunch of mechanics that said the buses were in much better shape than expected so hopefully that bodes well for us.

Isn't that funny? Two weeks ago the buses were in terrible shape according to the very same mechanics.

Because the mechanics are a bunch of self-serving liars who probably were not doing their jobs in the first place (hence the warranty lapses).

Fire them.