Just a heads-up to OC Transpo users that, if you somehow haven't heard, very many routes are changing under the city's optimization project, and yours might be affected. The changes take effect today.
If you're not sure whether or not you're ride will change, check the OC Transpo website and find out.
I had no idea this was happening. I missed all of the posters, radio ads, hanging cards from bus stops, OC staff in green shirts, automated announcements on buses, and media coverage of those complaining.
Of course, someone living in Hull assumed the changes were minor:
"Announcements on buses throughout the summer, as well as signs at bus stops, warned riders of the coming changes. But [Patricia] Sztompka says she never heard the warnings because she lives in Hull.
I’m just hoping the changes were kept at a minimum,” she said."
Can have little sympathy for anyone living in ottawa all last summer who claims they didnt know bus changes were happening. Announcements and meetings all warned of the new schedule. Now we see the sheep wake up and complain. Went to a City Hall bus metting and it was a farce. It seemed clear then, the agenda had been pretty well set if you listened carefully to the presenters. As for route chopping, taking away the number 3 means at Hogs Back and Meadowlands there no direct 1 bus to downtown. You have doubled the time of my trip or more partly because Carleton students were never factored in that they would pack the buses. Nice to know OCTranspot and the city does listen?. If some of the bureaucerats actually took the bus "everyday" they might have thought twice and tweaked rather than hack & slash. The meetings were an excercise in dubious democracy.Wonder how much the summer ad campaign will increase our fares?
Obviously, there are going to be examples of origin-destinations that now take longer, and if as you say, Hogs Back to downtown now takes double the time, then yes, some form of adjustment may be required to the routes in the area. However, the number one complaint from most people seems to be that they have to now transfer somewhere along the way. “There is no direct 1 bus to downtown” is the attitude bankrupting our transit system. Well timed transfers allow all routes to operate more efficiently, with more frequent service and an actual improvement in travel times despite added transfers.
People in other cities seem to get this. Nobody thinks twice about transferring between trains, and then to a bus, and sometimes another bus in Toronto, yet here in Ottawa there seems to be this unrealistic expectation that there should be direct door to door service between every conceivable destination.
A lot of the changes seen in this network optimization resemble what was proposed in the mid-90’s when planners were starting to see that infrequent spaghetti routes all over the city were unsustainable, and more direct routes, with more transfer points was the direction we needed to head. It took 15 years to get there, and by no means has this been rolled out perfectly, but I’m glad to see we are starting to move in that direction.
todd - I think when you really look at the revised transit network overall, the trend has been towards more spaghetti routes, less frequent service, more unreliable transfers and more overcrowding. That is certainly the case in my neighbourhood. Comparing Ottawa's transit with the TTC is ridiculous. Toronto's street network is a grid and buses run very frequently. Outside the Transitway, where do buses run frequently? Buses running every 15 or 30 minutes does not facilitate easy transfers that you advocate so strongly.
Ok. We are into a month now with the new schedule changes and so far, it's a flop. Has any Transit user in Ottawa since September 4 th actually seen a bus run on time according to the posted Schedule? When you call OC Transpo in regards to late buses or Buses that are MIA, their response is, " Before you leave every morning, you should be checking the Live Updates online." Then, I wonder what those Schedules are for on every bus pole? And who has time to go online to check every morning? I wonder what those Schedules cost to put up and change 3 or 4 times a year too? If you think Transit users are upset now, Just wait till the colder wetter weather hits.
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