Bus delays, route changes cause Canada Day commuter chaos

The lines may have been long to enter Parliament Hill, but there were still thousands of people elsewhere across the city standing in wet puddles for buses that either drove past them filled to the brim or didn't show up at all.

Thousands were stranded in Ottawa waiting in long lines to get on OC Transpo and STO buses

Commuter chaos on Canada Day in Ottawa

5 years ago
Duration 1:07
Delays of 30 minutes or more for OC Transpo buses led to commuter chaos for people trying to get downtown for Canada Day celebrations.

People standing in line to enter Parliament Hill weren't the only ones in Ottawa left waiting on Canada Day, with thousands of people across the city standing in wet puddles for buses that either drove past them filled to the brim or didn't show up at all. 

OC Transpo riders taking advantage of the free service for Canada Day were stranded as they waited for buses that were delayed by more than 30 minutes. 

These tweets offer a glimpse of how people reacted to the chaos. 

This was the scene for the Eagleson Park and Ride in Kanata. 

Other west-end commuters were also stranded. 

OC Transpo had to call in some in reinforcements.

Steve's ride on OC Transpo seems to have been more pleasant than others. 

David Pepper, an OC Transpo spokesperson, told CBC News the transit system is used to dealing with 350,000 commuters each day, but Canada Day presents a number of challenges for drivers since the rhythm is completely unpredictable.

He said some buses are kept on standby to manage build-ups at popular stations.

In a tweet, OC Transpo said they added dozens of trips for all buses that normally run on Sundays. Route 91 to Orléans will also run after the fireworks.

The Royals travelling around downtown has also caused a ripple effect for passengers to and from the area during the afternoon, according to OC Transpo.

Once downtown, the lines were hours-long.

STO buses abandon downtown Ottawa

The buses across the river were experiencing similar issues. 

Commuters on the Gatineau side said that STO buses began dropping people off at the Quebec-side of bridges, leaving them to walk across to downtown Ottawa. 

STO representatives said their buses stopped venturing downtown just before 1 p.m. due to traffic and security reasons.

Tonight, Gatineau commuters will have to walk back across the bridges to catch STO buses home.

STO officials told commuters that they would have to cross one of the bridges to Gatineau to catch a bus. ( Estelle Cote-Sroka/Radio-Canada)
Celebrations end early for Gatineau residents, who have to cross the interprovincial bridges on foot to catch an STO bus home. ( Estelle Cote-Sroka/Radio-Canada)