OC Transpo's No. 95 workhorse to ride off into the night
Route number will be retired on Oct. 6 after 4 decades in service
OC Transpo's busy No. 95 bus route, which has carried riders through the city and through the decades, will see its number retired in the early hours of Sunday morning.
It may not always be on time, can be packed and sometimes even smelly, but many residents can't help but be nostalgic as the crosstown route of Ottawa's bus era relinquishes its job to the light rail line on Oct. 6.
The Final Five Days... It has been the workhorse, the mainline, the flagship route of <a href="https://twitter.com/OC_Transpo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OC_Transpo</a> since the early 1980s and now is only days from retirement. Route 95 takes its final trip this coming Saturday. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/octranspo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#octranspo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottawa?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ottawa</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottawalrt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ottawalrt</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ottlrt?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ottlrt</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/route95?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#route95</a> <a href="https://t.co/2l510WMviK">pic.twitter.com/2l510WMviK</a>—@OTrainFans613
Nod to the Ninety Five<br><br>Farewell old red rocket, you took me to and fro, through sun and snow.<br><br>Free downloadable pdf image available by clinking link below..make your own T-shirt, mug, or whatever. <br><br>BuByeNinetyFive! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NineFiver?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NineFiver</a> <a href="https://t.co/JHpJTC0z87">https://t.co/JHpJTC0z87</a> <a href="https://t.co/X82J1Bp1cn">pic.twitter.com/X82J1Bp1cn</a>—@twitandrewking
Ottawa's <a href="https://twitter.com/OC_Transpo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OC_Transpo</a> is retiring bus route 95 this week. When I was a suburban teen punk it was my lifeline to the thrilling possibilities of the city. I wrote this sloppy ode to the 95's charms for my zine in 1997 (age 17) and it's the oldest story in my book. RIP to a real one <a href="https://t.co/NvUm4xJHNL">pic.twitter.com/NvUm4xJHNL</a>—@ghost_pine
Riders suggest tribute
Since it launched in 1980, the No. 95 has been extended many times and now runs from the Trim Road park-and-ride lot in Orléans, through downtown, all the way to the Minto Recreation Complex in Barrhaven.
The route has been the muse for at least three songs, but riders think it needs another tribute.
Gianmarco Maggiore was waiting for it at its eastern starting point this week to get to university, and says he has ridden the route his whole life.
"It's kind of sad. It would be nice if they retired the number and no other bus could take the 95, like when a [sports] player retires."
Laura Shantz wants to see it raised to the rafters, too. She's grateful to the many drivers who spent hours behind the wheel.
"I've never had a car and they really were my personal chauffeurs for a lot of years and I really appreciate that."
Leiper's life line
Coun. Jeff Leiper, for one, plans to be on that last run in the wee hours of Sunday morning to see the No. 95 travel over the Mackenzie King Bridge one last time.
"It's served all of the destinations that have kind of defined my life," he explained. "The 95 was the bus that took us as teenagers from sleepy, suburban Orléans down to exciting downtown."
It was more than a route. It was the Wrath of Khan at the Rideau Centre, cramming 20 more minutes for a final in the gym at Montpetit, and getting out of the dish-pit to get to Hull with a couple of hours left to dance with friends...—@JLeiper
Later, Leiper rode the No. 95 to jobs as a young man, ran to catch it after late-night dancing in Hull, and used it to take his toddler to child care or a packed trip to Canada Day celebrations.
But Ottawa has outgrown the time when it could serve residents only with crosstown buses, and he's excited for the age of light rail. Still, he sees the end of an era.
"All of us used it. It was the bus that really served Generation X. I'm sorry to see it go," he said.