Thursday, February 5, 2009

Don't take the bus (says councillor)

"I'm telling people not to take the bus until full service is returned," said Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder. "I am telling people not to take it unless they need to."

Harder said with the incremental roll out of buses over the next 10 weeks, riders aren't going to know when or where buses are going to be available.

"It's going to be chaos," she said.

Harder is recommending residents stay in their vehicles or continue carpooling.
So read a story in the Ottawa Sun where Gloucester-South Nepean councillor Steve Desroches agreed with Harder.
"I won't dissuade them from that," he said.
What do readers think of Harder and Desroches' message to commuters?

Sun reporter Derek Puddicombe also wrote about the return of commuters to the now-running O-Train. People are back on the rails, he reported:

During a briefing at yesterday's transit committee meeting, OC Transpo general manager Alain Mercier told councillors there has been a "healthy return" of riders to the O-Train since it started running Monday.

On the first day back, the O-Train carried 4,600 passengers and another 5,500 passengers Tuesday.

On an average day, it carries 9,000 passengers.

Whether or not O-Train ridership continues to rise as the days and weeks progress will be interesting to watch.


david said...

Maybe Councillor Harder is worried that there might be "non-Whites" coming onto the buses, "looking for trouble."

Anonymous said...

Assuming the scheduling they've released is accurate, why wouldn't we want to take the available buses? Are they implying the buses that have been announced as running at full service won't be? If that's the case I'd love to have some clarification on what's happening. As far as I know now, the buses I need to get me to and from work will be back by the weekend and I'll be on them.

Thall said...

They really think that the O-Train is getting that many passengers? I have caught it at 9AM every day this week and the normally full ride was empty! And when I mean empty, I mean that I was the only one on it between two stops on Tuesday. The way home had a few more people on it after work, but 5,500 passengers on Tuesday? I doubt that.

Anonymous said...

Why would Councillors Harder and Desroches try to dissuade people from taking the bus? It seems kind of like they're trying to decrease ridership so that they can punish the union by cutting routes when everything's running smoothly again.
Pretty much everyone in the city knows that it will be chaotic at first but that's no reason for us to continue driving and carpooling at personal cost when we've already paid for the buses through taxes and passes! Get real!
I wish I could take the O-Train. A mostly empty train sounds way more comfortable than a packed-to-the-brim 95.

Anonymous said...

Am I naive to think that the buses they're telling us will be on full service will really be full service? Where is this chaos we should be worried about? Maybe I'm giving them too much credit but if we're being told certain buses will run on the schedules that have been posted I'm assuming they will. So.. what chaos?

Anonymous said...

In an article in the Citizen, they said that 70% of peak-period service would be available. I guess they are thinking that if 100% of the riders try and take 70% of the buses, it would be chaos. I doubt they will get 100% of the ridership back though. At least not until these horrible two months have faded from our memory.
They have also said that they are putting something like 40 buses on call. So if a 95 pulls up at Bank and is already full, the driver has to contact the dispatcher and a second 95 will swing by to pick up the rest of the people.
I really hope it isn't as bad as all that!