Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Riders return faster than expected

OC Transpo ridership has rebounded quickly and strongly after the city's 52-day winter transit strike, according to Bay Ward Councillor and Transit Committee Chair Alex Cullen.

From 580 CFRA:

Statistics released this week show ridership returned to near normal levels in March as service resumed following the strike by drivers, dispatchers and mechanics.

Councillor Alex Cullen tells CFRA News conventional wisdom was that after a strike residents would have developed other habits, and it would have taken a while for ridership to return to pre-strike levels.

This is good news for Ottawa, particularly as City Council begins to push hard for federal and provincial funding for their $5B light-rail transit plan. High levels of relatively consistent ridership, as demonstrated by this quick return to the buses, is necessary to justify the need for a light-rail system which only becomes economical if ridership stays high.

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