The Crystal Beach Lakeview Community Association sent a submission to the Transit Commission and to Theresa Kavanagh. The submission did not make the deadline to be considered before the transit meeting because Monday was a holiday at City Hall. The review, however, was for information only, and the submission will still go to the Transit Commission councillors.
According to the article , “Transit Commission approves OC Transpo’s 2024 draft budget” in Issue #42 of the Bay Ward Bulletin, new bus routes will roll out in 2024.
In the article, Theresa Kavanagh says, “If you have any comments or questions about the route review, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and copy my office at email@example.com.”
Response to OC Transpo Bus Route Review
by the Crystal Beach Lakeview Community Association CBLCA
November 13, 2023
The recommendations CBLCA Sent to OC Transpo
OC Transpo consulted residents about how to re-organize the bus routes, and in June, 2023, the Crystal Beach Lakeview Community Association was pleased to send its recommendations.
OC Transpo has released its OC Transpo Bus Route Review (also known as File Number: ACS2023-TSD-TCSP-0023 Report to Transit Commission on 14 November 2023).
So, did OC Transpo Listen to CBLCA’s recommendations?
Not at all.
The report says that both our commuter service and our local service will be worse.
We recommended that our express route 258 not be touched until the train is ready.
We carefully picked through the following information:
- OC Transpo Bus Route Review File Number: ACS2023-TSD-TCSP-0023 Report to Transit Commission on 14 November 2023
- Transit Services 5-Year Roadmap File Number: ACS2023-TSD-TS-0011 Report to Transit Commission on 29 June 2023
- OC Transpo website for the gold line, line 3
We were unable to find dates, but in reading between the lines (with considerable difficulty) we were able to figure out (actually, we just assumed from the lack of clarity) that OC Transpo is probably going to axe the 258 before the gold line, line 3, is complete to Bayshore.
Crystal Beach Lakeview customers will take the 58 to Bayshore and transfer to a bus that may already be full of Kanata customers.
Crystal Beach Lakeview customers will have to adapt to new travel plans twice—once when the routes in the report are implemented and once again when the train becomes available.
We asked for one bus to take us to our centre of commerce in Bells Corners, the service we used to have; it’s what we always ask for. We did not get that. Instead, our current local route will be cut by more than half. Not only will we not be able get to Bells Corners on one bus, now the 58 will no longer go to:
- the Queensway Carleton Hospital
- a connection to the 88 (or 68) on Baseline (an option for getting to Bells Corners)
- the Dollarama (admittedly about to be lost to a tower)
- Lee Valley on Morrison Drive
- Pinecrest Shopping Centre
- The other mall on Iris and stores, restaurants, a butcher shop, a small grocery, and services
- The Pinecrest Recreation Centre (admittedly with a long walk)
- The Lincoln Heights Metro grocery store
In other words, instead of gaining the three grocery stores in Bells Corners that we asked for, we lost access to a large grocery store and a bunch of other stuff. The 58 will stop at Bayshore. To go anywhere else, customers will have to transfer.
Faster? More reliable?
Vague wishes that “service will be faster” are not specific. Will the 58 come more than once every half hour? Vague wishes that “service will more reliable” are not specific. Will buses on route 57 and 68 (the former 88) continue to vanish mysteriously without warning in mid-afternoon? Will the 58 go back to its old reliability? It got pretty wonky.
The feeling we’re left with…
In the documents we could not find a schedule for the proposed bus route changes. It’s one thing to lose our express bus when the train is available. It is another thing altogether to lose it it at some vague unspecified time presumably before the train is available, maybe a very long time before the train is available.
A schedule might need to be tentative and laden with caveats and estimates, but surely there must be one.
We cannot not escape the feeling that the lack of clarity is deliberate. Indeed, the lack of clarity may be not only to conceal from customers the fact that the train will not be ready before the express bus is axed. It has occurred to us that, OC Transpo may already know that the train is going to be really late, and they are already setting up smoke screens to obfuscate that.
The lack of clarity is frustrating. So many Ottawa citizens worked in high tech companies. In those businesses, projects always had a schedule. The schedule might slip. People might get called on the carpet or even fired, but the basic working assumption was that you could not have a project without the framework of a schedule. That lived experience leads Ottawa citizens to expect project management clarity. The transit commission should expect no less.And yes, OC Transpo has no money. Trying to rearrange bus routes to look workable when you have no funds must be a brutal, unenviable task, but OC Transpo must be up front about the cuts they have to make and why. Only then can taxpayers decide if they want to keep taxes at 2.5 %, update sports facilities, or have homeless encampments in their backyards. The timelines and the choices must be transparent.