Riders left out in the cold by OC Transpo delays, cancellations

oc transpo winter

A nightmare Thursday morning commute on OC Transpo left hundreds of riders to fend for themselves.

Many took to social media to express their discontent with the transit service.

Stittsville councillor Glen Gower, said he hears these concerns all the time and is working with OC Transpo officials, transit chair Allan Hubley and Mayor Jim Watson to resolve these issues.

"It's extremely frustrating, I take the bus myself, so do members of my team, we're seeing this all time, we're seeing cancellations, we're seeing overcrowded buses and we're seeing buses that sometimes don't arrive at all." said Gower.

Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations at OC Transpo said customer service was made aware of the delays and cancellations and worked to inform riders as soon as possible of changing route schedules.

"That was one of the areas in which we did see service delays; upwards of 20 minutes there, could've been longer" said Charter.

OC Transpo admited today was an example of a challenging morning commute; worsened by crashes and poor weather across the city.

"We're actively looking at those complaints to see what happened and try to get responses to people to let them know one, what happened and how to improve upon those things." said Charter.

CTV News has learned there were at least 50 bus cancellations Thursday by noon; a multitude of reasons to blame, inclduing lengthy bus repairs, traffic, and inclement weather.

Long delays weren't just reserved for the morning commuters, several long-term riders say even during the afternoon ride service, winter delays and cancellations are a weekly occurence and they're disappointed service hasn't improved.

"One day I waited one full hour... we were promised that in the new year, service would be better because they had more buses on." said George Shaw at Lincoln Fields station.

Trevor Haché, has formed a transit riders' group; their plan is to approach the city with ideas on how to improve service and efficiency.

"People in Ottawa that ride the bus are finding it's not showing up when it says it's going to. People are fed up the city's trying to raise transit fares every year by 2.5%." Haché said.

Other riders have come to accept winter transit delays and cancellations as the norm.

"My philosophy is, the colder it is, the later the bus." said Edward Albert.

Albert's wife, Muriel, said transit schedules have become unreliable and unpredictable. Late morning and afternoon communtes, the couple said, have often left them out in the cold for 30 minutes.

"We've got days we're supposed to have one at 11:14 and he doesn't show up." said Muriel Albert.

OC Transpo said it expects many of the issues to be resolved once the Confederation Line construction is completed; the hope is that could happen by the end of March.

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