These OC Transpo routes are starting to see more riders again during the COVID-19 pandemic
OTTAWA -- OC Transpo's boss says while there are still some empty buses and O-Trains running during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are signs of "optimism" with the transit service.
During a discussion on ridership projections and the possibility of route cuts in 2021, Transportation Services General Manager John Manconi told Council that ridership is at 30 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
"This is optimism and this is proof that the long view is the right thing to do. There are some routes in your communities that are almost at 50 per cent ridership," said Manconi.
- Route 11 Parliament/Bayshore is at 47 per cent of pre-pandemic levels
- Route 12 Blair/Parliament is at 43 per cent of pre-pandemic levels
- Route 14 St. Laurent/Tunney's Pasture is at 43 per cent of pre-pandemic levels
- Route 85 Gatineau/Bayshore is at 43 per cent of pre-pandemic levels
"That ridership is coming back," said Manconi, adding OC Transpo and the City of Ottawa want to have service ready when ridership increases next year.
In September, Council was told ridership was down 72 per cent this year due to COVID-19 measures and more people working from home. In June, OC Transpo reported ridership plummeted by 70 to 90 per cent in the first few weeks of the pandemic.
Manconi noted other jurisdictions in Canada cancelled routes when the COVID-19 pandemic first started and received a lot of complaints.
Council approved the 2021 OC Transpo budget, which includes a 2.5 per cent hike in transit fares.