No buses cause residents in the suburbs to lose patience
Published Thursday, February 19, 2009 12:17PM EST
OC Transpo riders living in the suburbs say their nerves are being stretched thin as they continue to deal with no public transit, three weeks after the bitter strike ended.
"None of the express buses are available, so I'm having to park in a mall parking lot, probably illegally, to get on a bus," Orleans resident Nicole Seguin told CTV Ottawa on Wednesday.
"I usually have the choice of four buses from where I am, and now only have the choice of one. And today, it was so packed, he couldn't even stop after the third stop where I got on," said Sandra Servant, another Orleans resident.
With an additional 100 buses set to hit the road next Monday and another 100 to resume service in two weeks, some city councillors say they still don't understand why it's taking so long to return to full service.
"I'm responsible for the crappy service they're getting," Coun. Rainer Bloess said on Wednesday.
"If we can get the buses moving faster, why aren't we doing that?" Coun. Marianne Wilkinson asked.
"After having 700 buses ready by next week -- that's not far off what we need in the end -- then why is it going to be another six weeks before we get full service? I simply can't understand it," she said.
Still, OC Transpo general manager Alain Mercier says it's going to take time to get all the buses up and running.
"We need another 200 buses back on the road and that's going to take a few weeks," he said.
The mayor now says the final figure of the cost of the transit strike is close to $3 million.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Vanessa Lee