Collisions plague Gatineau's Rapibus in its first month

Police and Gatineau's transit company are working with commuters to reduce the number of crashes along their new rapid transit system.

Five crashes since transit system opened Oct. 19

A car that failed to stop at a red light collided with a Rapibus early Monday morning during the new public transportation system's first weekday rush hour run. (October 21, 2013) (Ryan Gibson/CBC)

Gatineau's transit company and police are working with commuters to reduce the number of crashes along the new rapid transit system.

Since Gatineau’s Rapibus System was put in use on Oct. 19, there have already been five collisions between buses and cars along the corridor. The car driver has been at fault each time.

The most recent accident happened Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Bellehumeur Street and Maloney Boulevard, where a Chevrolet truck was hit by an STO bus after failing to stop at a red light.

The 12-kilometre Rapibus corridor runs parallel to Gatineau’s busy commuter arteries.

Cars are not able to make right turns until the buses along the corridor and all other traffic have stopped.

STO spokesperson Dominique Leclerc says drivers are taking chances and not used to the new routes. (CBC)

The STO said they have put all traffic signs in place to warn drivers, including ones prohibiting right turns on a red light.

“I think some people take chances," said Dominique Leclerc, STO public relations advisor.

"They are not used to seeing buses on the corridor next to the routes.” 

Buses involved in the crashes were pulled off their routes and taken in for repair. Two are already back on the roads and the STO plans to put the remaining three back in circulation within two weeks.

Police have issued more than 200 fines along the corridor in the past three weeks, paying close attention to drivers. Together with the STO, they’ve launched a campaign designed to educate motorists about the transitway.

“Hopefully it will be resolved. People heard about the accidents and the signs are there. I think motorists will understand and respect the law,” said Leclerc.

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