Bus route changes bring smiles and gripes

The soft launch of the city’s new transit schedule Sunday had some riders smiling and others griping.

“For today, I’m happy,” said Ann Martins, who’s been riding the bus for many years.

She was catching Route 4 along Rideau St. near the mall.

“Now I take one bus, instead of two or four,” she said.

“To me, it’s a gift.”

Across the street, Jennifer Bouffard was waiting in a bus shelter with her five-year-old daughter.

“The 18 used to go all the way down Rideau but now it stops here, so now I have to take two buses to my mom’s,” she said, adding she goes to visit at least twice a week.

Bouffard said she’s also concerned about others riding the same route.

“In Overbrook, they took out a bit of the 18 and there’s one area where there’s older folks and now they have to walk up to Lola (St.),” she said.

Bouffard’s son is turning 15 and has to reroute to get to school starting Tuesday.

“It’s not very far but it’s inconvenient,” she said.

The city hopes to save roughly $20 million annually from route revisions and modifications across Ottawa.

Another rider, Shawn Hardy, said the city was too eager to get things rolling with the changes.

“I think what they should’ve done is not put up the signs so soon,” he said.

“It’s confusing.

He noticed the new signs have been up for at least the last two weeks.

“If I’m looking for the 85, it would no longer say 85, even though the Sept. 4 date hasn’t come around yet,” he said.

Christine Godoin lives and works downtown and is generally on foot.

She says she doesn’t take the bus very often but was going to visit her aunt in Nepean.

“I’m just going to get on and I hope there’s no changes to that bus,” she said.

“It’s about a 15 minute bus ride, normally, but I don’t know what they’ve done to it. I’m going to find out,” she said, laughing.

Bus changes are posted at checkyourroute.ca

http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/09/04/bus-route-changes-bring-smiles-and-gripes

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