Ottawa, Gatineau public transit should integrate

The National Capital Commission is going to release a report on public transit in both Ottawa and Gatineau and it could advise more oversight to integrate both systems.

NCC report advises better co-ordination between two cities' public transit system

The Ottawa-Gatineau region's two separate transit systems should be integrated, according to a plan about to be released by the National Capital Commission.

The region has a growing number of commuters including many of the 60,000 federal public servants. But some planners worry if the systems are not easy to use, the area will have more cars on the road.

The current road system including the three main interprovincial bridges can't handle any growth in traffic, they say.

NCC officials have listened and want to simplify life for commuters.

"There is no way we can think of the region's future without thinking of some form of close coordination in public transit," said François Lapointe, the NCC's executive director of capital planning.

NCC could be public transit oversight

There is no oversight for either Ottawa or Gatineau's transit system and the NCC said it hopes to help improve both by stepping in.

The report could call for a new legislated role for the NCC in planning public transit.

But one Ottawa city councillor told CBC News the plan does not have legs because both city councils have vastly different transit initiatives.

Currently, Ottawa is ready to rip up the downtown core to build a light rail transit system and Gatineau is planning to build a new rapid bus system.

"I think it's a little too late," said Coun. Stephen Blais, who represents the far east Ottawa ward of Cumberland.

Some commuters who spoke to CBC News added they want a more reliable schedule and clear transit options to cross the Ottawa River.