Today, the city has tabled the 2020 Budget. Within that budget there is a substantial commitment of $7.5 million to fund a total of 59 additional buses (including the 40 announced last week). There is also an additional $2.0 million to expand Para Transpo services, which increases capacity by approximately 70,000 trips.
These investments are intended to improve service reliability, increase capacity, and reduce wait times, as well as provide new and improved connections to LRT Line 1.
It was also announced last week that an additional 40 buses would be on the road as of this week. These additional 40 buses have been rolled out and are currently shadowing the system, pulled into operation where they are needed.
What can you expect this week?
- Buses will be staged on standby throughout the system to monitor and jump into service if buses aren’t arriving as scheduled during peak morning commutes. Similarly, this is occurring at Tunney’s Station to fill service gaps.
- Additional buses for routes 63, 64, 66, 264, and 268 will be directed as needed to maintain the published schedules and meet capacity.
- Two trips offering direct service from Tunney’s to Eagleson during PM peak commute are being added this week. OC Transpo Management are accessing the demand for this additional route and will report back next week to it’s longevity longer term.
What can you expect next week and until year end?
- As OC Transpo management assesses operational data and the impact of the 40 additional buses, you can expect more announcements as to when and how these buses are being deployed and how this will help your commute. I will share these updates as they become available.
- OC Transpo staff are reviewing the locations of Kanata bus stops at Tunney’s Station, investigating whether it would be beneficial to have all Kanata routes at the same platform (versus current Connexion routes at A and local routes at platform B).
- There have been technical issues with the open data API and GPS system. Systems are currently stable and being monitored closely. Improved stability and next trip predictions are expected with scheduled software and database updates between now and January 2020. Note that GPS currently cannot broadcast its location before a bus starts its route. The new software will be a substantial improvement.
- Temporary canopies are being installed at Tunney’s to help protect riders from the weather.
- Installation of anti-slip mats has begun at downtown stations with the plan to apply anti-slip coatings to floors at the main stations.
- Discussions are ongoing on train reliability with RTG. RTG is tasked to mobilize and provide additional resources required to rectify the issues that are affecting the reliability.
The fixes won’t come immediately, but we are throwing everything we can at the system to improve it.
What can you expect January 1st, 2020?
- A revised bus schedule will be published, taking into account lessons learned and adding additional buffer times where needed between end and start of routes, to ensure buses can start their routes on time.
- OC Transpo staff will continue consulting with Councillors on all proposed changes.
Please continue to reach out and share your concerns and questions. I will continue to work with you and for you to ensure we get reliable public transit.