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OC Transpo hopes passengers will be ready for major change once rail opens

Once the Confederation Line is up and running mid-September, the city is set to experience the biggest bus network change in OC Transpo's history.
2019-07-11 LRT Bayview
Concept drawing of Bayview station (photo/ OTrain website)

The city is one step closer to having light rail, as it was announced Wednesday at the Finance and Economic Development Committee that Rideau Transit Group(RTG) expects to handover the system to the city August 16.

However, council can't celebrate just yet with a major hurdle ahead of them.

Once the 12.5-kilometre Confederation Line is up and running in mid-September, the city will experience the biggest bus network change in OC Transpo's history.

"80 per cent of your customers will have some type of change. Over 100 bus routes will be affected," John Manconi, General Manager of Transportation Services told committee members.

OC Transpo plans for a slow transition from bus to rail, keeping the current system in place three weeks after the initial launch of the Confederation Line.

The organization also plans to launch a full scale communication blitz to educate passengers on how the new system will work.

"When we achieve revenue service availability, those last three or four weeks is the final push of the campaign and that's when we make it very specific to customers," Manconi explained.

He added "You're going to see a full on press on service announcements on the buses, emails, text alerts, Facebook, Twitter, social media."

Manconi anticipates a smooth transition to the light rail service, however, he does warn that customers should expect problems down the line where they have to fend for themselves.

"There will be days when the train breaks down. It happens in every city around the world and we will do exactly what every other city does [and use] limited bus backup," said Manconi.

"People will sort it out themselves," Manconi added. "They'll get out of the stations they will Uber, walk, jog, or taxi."

RTG must achieve substantial completion within the next 10 days to start its 12 consecutive days of testing before it can officially handover the system to the city on August 16.


Jeff Slack

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