Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Big Change


It appears that someone is unhappy about the new route changes coming on September 4. In fact, they were so unhappy that their thoughts were able to shatter the glass showing off the route reduction. Yes, that's how it happened.

I've had quite a few people strike up a conversation with me in the last little while, starting with how much they hate these changes. "They jack up the price of the passes and cut the service. It's just not fair," noted one nice lady, with bright red hair and a strong French accent. Another older woman described how she had been at the bus stop a long time because her bus hadn't come at :15 like the post says it does, though last time she took it, it came at :45. She added, "these new times are confusing, they don't even work for 5 weeks."

Twitter is abuzz with the same sentiments. A fair chunk of the OC Transpo mentions out there are about the route changes being posted prematurely, and how the new changes completely ruin people's commutes.

A few months back, OC Transpo did hold public meetings to discuss the proposed changes, some tweaks did com out of those meetings. I think it was really hard for a lot of people to see how their routes would actually change. There would have been a stronger response if the public could use a travel planner prior to those meetings to see how the changes would actually affect them. Also, if more people had heard that they were happening.

I know why all these changes are happening. We the city of Ottawa need to make sure that our transit system be more self-sufficient. That means cutting costs. We (Ottawa) tried to do so changing the drivers' schedules to limit overtime (and failed, from what I hear), and cutting routes is next. And yes, it will cut costs.

I think that the value of OC Transpo to its commuters will drop more than the costs that they will save. A lot of people have a hard time justifying $94 a month for the current level of service, let alone what it's about to become.

The city will feel pressure to restore some of these routes - a few years back my local route was trimmed down, but the community fought to have night service restored, and it was.

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