Changes coming to allow for Gatineau’s new Rapibus service will actually make commute times longer for some riders.
The Societe de Transport de l’Outaouais’ new network of articulated buses will start running routes that are mostly on bus-only roads Oct. 19, a system similar to Ottawa’s Transitway.
The new “hub and spoke” system will cause 25 per cent fewer STO buses to cross over to Ottawa during the afternoon rush hour and remove several routes.
What that means for riders such as Vanessa Fournier is they’ll have to transfer to local routes at Rapibus stations in Gatineau once they’ve crossed from Ottawa, when they once had a direct ride.
“I don’t want to transfer,” she said. “I think I’ll prefer to take my car and pay the parking.”
80 per cent of ride times will be basically the same
Fournier said the loss of her 67 route will add five to 10 minutes to her ride.
The STO said times for 80 per cent of passengers will stay within five minutes of their previous time.
“One of the biggest advantages for people coming from Ottawa [is they] will no longer have to wait for their specific bus route, they can take any bus going on Wellington [Street],” said STO spokesperson Celine Gauthier.
Rapibus stations and buses will also feature free wifi.