These past few days were busy! With several Committee meetings, in addition to my normal workload and responsibilities, it was a challenging week. I enjoyed taking part in the #TransitChallenge2020. I usually take transit once a week but commuting only by public transit during a very busy week added an extra layer of complexity to my already busy schedule.
My commute downtown on Tuesday was the worst of the week. I hopped on a #64 at Innovation Park & Ride which, due to snowy roads, took longer to get to Tunney’s. At Tunney’s I quickly boarded a train, which had multiple technical difficulties along the short trip to Rideau adding further delays to my commute. That day, it took me 1 hour, 45 minutes to get to City Hall. Wednesday’s commute wasn’t much better at 1 hour, 30 minutes. Thursday and Friday morning, I opted to wait for the #266, which proved to be a smart move. By taking the #266, I was able to get to City Hall within 1 hour, which is much more acceptable.
My commutes back to Kanata North occurred mid-day or afternoon, prior to the peak afternoon rush. My schedule often calls for me to be in my Mlacak office for meetings in the afternoons. Generally, my commute back took about 1 hour, which – during off peak times – would have been a 30-minute drive although, I must admit, it was productive time for me. I enjoyed the walks to the stations and the down time on the trains and buses. Admittedly however I missed the hectic afternoon peak commutes, and the terrible LRT delays yesterday evening.
I believe that OC Tranpo’s focus right now needs to be restoring reliable LRT service. All energies must be dedicated to fixing this. Once that is accomplished, when S1 is no longer needed and they are no longer having to pull buses from existing routes, reliability will be restored to bus service as well.
Throughout the week I provided updates and asked our community for ideas and suggestions on how we can improve our transit service. This has proven very useful. Thank you to everyone who has reached out. I have compiled a list below with some of the common bus related issues that our community has shared with me to date. I have not addressed LRT issues as mentioned above, restoring reliability is key.
- We need more frequent and reliable service for routes 63, 64 and 266.
- The 266 is very unreliable and drivers are often unfamiliar with the route. When it runs well, it is a preferred route as it is much quicker. There is a desire for one more late am peak run and one more later pm peak time run.
- More convenient bus service to DND possibly using route 66 in both directions.
- Peak PM service back to Terry Fox Park & Ride is not efficient. There are large gaps in the schedule without service and then multiple buses show up at the same time.
- Bus service for the Arcadia neighbourhood is needed as they continue to grow.
- During the peak PM commute, route 63 is unreliable from Gatineau. Buses don’t show or aren’t running on schedule.
- Recent trend at Tunney’s Pasture of buses showing ‘Out of Service’ until they drive off, causing people to miss their bus altogether, or at the very least, making every commuter ask the driver what bus it is, causing a lot of chaos at an already overcrowded stop.
- Customer alerts providing no/wrong information about cancellations and delays.
- Route 62, 265 and 268 scheduling issues. All routes scheduled within the same time period instead of spacing out the intervals.
- Insufficient service locally: Not frequent enough, as it takes 2 buses to get across Kanata North & South.
As shared yesterday, the 2020 Transit Services Business Plan was tabled at Transit Commission this week, and I’m happy to see that service improvements are a top priority. However, we have a long way to go to improve on the service that is currently being provided.
Please continue to reach out and share your suggestions and concerns. Your feedback is invaluable to me, as I work on your behalf to improve service.