Downtown bus routes will soon be a thing of the past in Ottawa; OC Transpo is reducing parallel bus service along the O-Train line starting October 6.
72 hours away and bus riders are getting sentimental - counting down the days before stops along the downtown transit-way will cease to exist.
“I'm not going to lie, yeah I am going to miss the buses a little bit,” said commuter Liam Whitworth.
With the LRT up-and-running for 3 weeks, the city has been providing parallel bus service across the entire stretch of the light rail system to allow for riders to adjust to the new reality.
OC Transpo says more than 100 bus routes in the city will be affected in some way.
“Anyone who is travelling downtown, or through downtown or across town will see a change in their bus routes,” said Pat Scrimgeour, Director of Customer Assistance Planning with OC Transpo. “A lot of those people will be transferring to Tunney’s Pasture, Hurdman or Blair; the major transfer stations. A lot of other people will transfer as they have for years at St. Laurent, Rideau or Parliament.”
The biggest change coming to commuters across the city is the old 95 route; known as the city’s workhorse spanning from Trim in Orléans to Barrhaven.As of October 6th, the 40 km commute will be split into 2 routes with bus service removed downtown. Bus riders starting in Orléans along route 39 will arrive at LRT Blair Station in the east. After boarding the train at Blair, following a 25 minute ride across to Tunney’s Pasture, riders will then board bus route 75 toward Barrhaven.
Big changes coming to buses in Ottawa 3 days from now when many of the major routes changing and commuters taking the LRT with buses being diverted from the downtown core @ctvottawa pic.twitter.com/mkAxOVb8JW— Mike Arsalides (@MArsalidesCTV) October 2, 2019
Some riders are anxious to see change, admitting the transit transformation seems daunting.
“When you're old you like things not to change,” said Ray Rowlands. “I live in a condo, high-rise and everyone's worried about it.”
“It's hard for some people to take the buses so maybe it's going to take longer for them to get where they're going,” Zahra Saeed at Lincoln Fields station.
Signs are posted at every station, OC Transpo is delivering leaflets to every home in the citygetting the word out change is on the way. Attendants will be at all stations to assist commuters on the way around the city.
“It is a big change, but we'll get used to it,” said Ali Acikgos.