As a member of the City of Ottawa’s Transit Commission, Councillor Stephen Blais is pleased to announce that he is moving forward on more of his campaign promises – to provide better service for express pass bus riders across Ottawa.
During the busiest hour of the morning and afternoon peak periods most trips on express routes will operate with articulated buses. With this increase in capacity OC Transpo will be able to ensure a more comfortable commute for more Orléans residents.
“The cost for express passes should entitle riders to a seat as they commute to and from their workplace,” says Councillor Blais. “By adding additional articulated buses to express routes we will help ensure comfort for transit users and provide them with better value for their money.”
The stopping procedure for express routes will also change. On their way into the downtown express routes will no longer make stops to pick up customers at every stop along the Transitway. Customers who are on an Express bus will be able to request a stop at any station along the Transitway.
“These changes will make express busses a real EXPRESS service,” adds Blais. “By reducing the number of unnecessary stops along the Transitway we will reduce commute times and provide real value for the Express bus pass premium.”
OC Transpo is limiting increases in bus passes to 2.5% or below. According the Statistics Canada inflation in Ottawa is currently 3.1%. Over the past six years OC Transpo fares for adult express users has increased by 46% which was seven times the rate of inflation. Budget 2011 sets the increase for express passes at 1.7% which is 1.4% below inflation.
“During the campaign, I heard how East End families were abandoning their express buses because of the huge increases in fares,” adds Blais. “I am pleased to keep my campaign promise to keep transit fee increases at the rate of inflation and in bring in an increases for express passes well below inflation.”
Additional capacity and more frequent service will be provided on route 94 from Innes to downtown in the morning and reverse in the afternoon. Furthermore additional capacity and frequency will be added to route 95 from Place D’Orléans to downtown and route 102 from Place D’Orléans to employment lands south of the downtown and along Carling.
These improvements to service will come with the April changes to bus schedules.