CUSA represents the interests of students at Carleton University, students whose lives extend far beyond campus. They live, work, shop, and see friends or family in all parts of the city, relying on public transit to do so.
We acknowledge the ongoing challenges the pandemic and remote work have posed for OC Transpo. But this is no excuse for such poor quality of service, a reality which long predates COVID. It has been disappointing to see OC Transpo propose further service cuts with no plans to fix popular but chronically unreliable routes like the 6 and 7. This spring will see an overall reduction in service hours and many routes being either reduced, like the 111, or overextended, like the 10.
Fixing public transit means addressing the underlying issues that turn people away: lack of reliability, overcrowding, long wait times, buses stuck in traffic, and unsanitary conditions. Many students and Ottawa residents alike can’t afford to simply buy a car or Uber everywhere because transit can’t be counted on. Nor do we want to. We are facing a climate crisis and personal vehicles account for over 40% of the city’s carbon emissions. A city truly committed to climate action, affordability, and accessibility would invest in good public transit for all.
In order for OC Transpo to grow ridership, it must invest in its own success with better frequency, transit priority, and more service on off-peak hours. The commuter centric model is out of date; it’s time to improve service for residents traveling at all times of the day — like students, retail workers, caregivers, seniors, and people with disabilities.
To improve the service students rely on, we propose the following.
Route 10 and R2
- Permanent bus lanes at choke points along the four lane sections of Bronson, plus queue jumps and signal priority at intersections ahead of the more congested two lane sections.
- Higher all day frequency to ensure sufficient capacity for plans to extend the 10 past Hurdman to Lees and Greystone Village without worsening service.
- Permanent bus lanes on Meadowlands and Prince of Wales and signal priority at intersections.
- Maintain service on Chesterton.
- Run service to Carleton on weekends.
Routes 6 and 7
More frequent service during peak hours and weekends, accompanied by bus lanes on the four lane sections of Bank to avoid bunching.
Routes 85 and 11 were named two of the worst performing in the city, with the 85 alone being late 30% of the time. Carling and Richmond need bus lanes to keep these and other critical routes out of traffic and on schedule.
Mohamed ‘Faris’ Riazudden – President, Carleton University Students’ Association
Nick Grover – Executive member, Free Transit Ottawa