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City councillors seeing transit through new lens after 'tough' week-long challenge

Changes to OC Transpo services could become hot talking points at city hall after many councillors experienced public transportation obstacles. 
2018-02-28 OC Transpo bus3 MV
OC Transpo bus in downtown Ottawa, February 28, 2018. (Photo/ Mike Vlasveld)

Many Ottawa City Councillors think there need to be major changes made to Ottawa's public transit system after a week of getting around by bus.

Only a handful of councillors neglected to participate in the Ottawa Transit Challenge, issued by Free Transit Ottawa. The ones that took part said they saw crowded buses, delays and some were even left on the sidewalk when no bus showed up.

Listen to Councillor for Beacon Hill-Cyrville Tim Tierney, Councillor for Kanata South and Chair of Ottawa's Transit Commission Allan Hubley, and Councillor for Innes Laura Dudas talking about their transit experiences on 1310 NEWS' The Rick Gibbons Show:

When asked if the new light rail transit line will help the OC Transpo service, councillor for Bay Ward Theresa Kavanagh remained doubtful.

"I get on the 97 bus, and I can just sit down and work on my device, and next stop is downtown [as it might be on LRT]," she explained. "But when that [stop] comes along, everyone is getting out and getting on something else."

Listen to Councillor for Bay Theresa Kavanagh and Councillor for Capital Shawn Menard talk about transit challenges on 1310 NEWS' Ottawa Today with Mark Sutcliffe:


The city has proposed a 2.5 per cent fare hike in July with Councillor for Gloucester-South Nepean Carol Anne Meehan said that's going to be a hard sell considering the problems she witnessed during her commutes.

"Especially in neighbourhoods where the service is not all that efficient and reliable," she continued. "That's what we are going to be concentrating on now -- making sure that those routes, if we need an extra bus, we get an extra bus."

Many councillors who took part in the challenge said transit issued are now a high priority.


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