Commuters from Kanata and Orléans to Gatineau are not happy with significant changes to their routes starting Sunday across the capital.
OC Transpo is overhauling the entire transit system by eliminating downtown buses running parallel to the LRT Confederation line, impacting more than 100 bus routes in Ottawa and Gatineau.
Elyse Henry has already started planning her route to Gatineau from Kanata for Monday morning.
“I'm worried that past peak-hours perhaps if I have an appointment, my day will be ruined,” said Henry.
“To get over here even now is complicated past a certain point,” said Henry who fears travelling the new routes during off-peak hours will not see the same quality and frequency of service. “I'm not feeling confident in the amount of buses that are going to be run from where I’m coming from in the city.”
Starting Monday, many government workers in Gatineau fear their commute will get longer by 30 to 45 minutes each way with the addition of an extra transfer via bus and the LRT downtown.
MJ Cardinal commutes from Orléans and fears the changes will hurt those living in the east end of the city.
“50 minutes, 45 minutes bus ride, now an hour ad fifteen, an hour -twenty. Come on guys."
Lyon station is where many travelling to Gatineau will be taking the @OC_Transpo LRT - others at Pimisi boarding buses from Ottawa to Gatineau. Not everyone is happy saying Orléans and Kanata commute on new routes will add 30 minutes w more transfers @ctvottawa pic.twitter.com/ajWuRsOreK— Mike Arsalides (@MArsalidesCTV) October 3, 2019
The city has set up new routes for almost every bus outside the downtown core. Despite potential challenges faced by those east and west of the downtown core, OC Transpo has moved millions of passengers in its first three weeks with minimal system delays and interruptions.
Cardinal said she understands the importance of the O-Train, but wants to see commuters to Gatineau get a fair deal when the changes come into effect.
“Used to take Avalon to Orléans, to here,” said Cardinal. “Now I have to take 3 buses, well, 2 buses and one O-train…We have no choice because all the buses are going to be gone. So we have no choice but to take what's coming to us.”
Christine Qian commutes between Riverside station and Gatineau daily – the trip takes about 75 minutes. Qian said the LRT has already sped up her daily commute by 15 minutes each way.
“A lot better than I expected,” she said. While waiting for her bus to Gatineau from Pimisi station Qian planned her trip for Monday using the OC Transpo website in anticipation of all the new bus routes, names and transfers.