Ottawa·TRAFFIC

Your stories 8 days into OC Transpo's LRT train shortage

We asked you how or if this was affecting your commute and had many responses.

10 trains running today; 125 buses again pulled from regular routes

A special bus from Tunney's Pasture station to downtown Ottawa makes a stop on Slater Street Jan. 22, 2020. (CBC)

Good morning commuters!

There will be 10 trains on the Confederation Line this morning, one more than what we've seen the past few days. It's still three short of what it had in mid-January.

The city is still cancelling about 125 bus routes today to free up buses to run that "special"/S1 route parallel to the LRT at rush hours. 

I asked you how or if this was affecting your commute and had many responses:


"Today, I naively thought I could hop into [Route] 267 headed to Tunney's Pasture. As I waited for the bus I got a sinking feeling in my stomach when I realized that according to my travel app the bus had already passed and the next one was coming in 28 minutes.

I waited over 40 minutes on the street for my bus to show up this morning. 

This is no way for a city to function. There needs to be consistency from one day to the next. Like so many people, I have commitments at work and cannot entertain this unpredictability." — Dorna


"As an employer, my employees are affected by these changes both in their ability to get to work on time and their ability to get home in a reasonable amount of time in the evening.  

They rely on the Route 50 bus from either Lincoln Heights or Tunney's Pasture. This route is notorious for not arriving on time or not coming at all. Our office is small and we all work to support each other. 

On a personal level, I commute from Carleton Place to Maitland Avenue Monday to Friday.  This morning my commute was two hours door to door, an hour longer than it normally takes me to get to work." — Heather


"I take Route 88 daily from Greenbank to Heron and it's been running like a Swiss watch. This is early around 6:15 a.m. and returning at about 3:15 p.m." — Randy

"My husband catches Route 11 Bayshore at Richmond Road and Starflower Lane. He leaves our apartment at 7:45 a.m.

Normally, a bus comes along very shortly thereafter. This morning, he waited until 8:20 a.m. While he was waiting, three buses passed by without stopping." — Adele


"It's cheaper for me to drive to work and pay $17.50 for parking, if I took the train or bus I'd easily lose both an hour of wages and sleep a day. Soooooo not worth the hassle." — Evan

"Route 282 was supposed to show up at 7:57 a.m. The bus came at 8:13 a.m. Once at Tunney's Pasture, about 50 per cent of people went on the S1 bus and 50 per cent down to the train.

The trains were only running every six minutes, all packed to the brim, and one went by before I could get on. I finally got to work at 9 a.m. — one hour and 15 minutes door to door.

As per OC Transpo's travel planner, it should take around 40 minutes." — Julie

"I usually get the 7:36 a.m. Route 58 from outside my house. It turned up nearly 30 minutes late and crawled through traffic and collision areas.

It took me until 9 a.m. to finally get into work using the extra bus instead of the LRT at Tunney's Pasture.  A 90 minute commute instead of my usual 35 minute ride.

I'm going to work from home as allowed while this fiasco continues." — Rob


"My commute has not been affected. I take Route 75 to and from Barrhaven every day.

The bus comes on time as scheduled in the morning, and there's ample 75s and 275s heading that direction from Tunney's in the afternoon." — David

"I live in Kanata, work downtown and take the only OC Transpo commuter bus option available to me, Route 264, followed by a LRT ride from Tunney's Pasture to Parliament. Both yesterday and this morning my usual bus at 7:48 a.m. did not show up.

The next bus, scheduled to arrive at 8:18 a.m., finally showed up after a long, chilly 35+-plus minute wait, at 8:21 a.m. both mornings." — Jennifer


It took me 90 minutes to drive from Nepean to downtown [Tuesday]. Normally it takes 40 minutes during rush hour. There were definitely more cars on the road today. — Ashley

"Monday night, no public transit AT ALL from downtown/Parliament station to Tunney's Pasture for at least an hour (8:45pm to at least 9:45pm). Just amazing. Nothing. At. All.

I walked home.

No trains, no buses going west to Tunney's for full hour, all the time I was walking home. Not a single one going west."  — Chris 

"Last Thursday (Jan. 23) at 3:30 p.m., it took me an hour to get home from Billings Bridge to Riverside and Walkley.  It usually takes 10 to 15 minutes by bus (Route 90) combined with a five to 10 minute wait." — Rūta


"As a person living with a disability who commutes from the west end with a strict 8:30 a.m. start time for her public-facing job on Elgin Street, I cannot rely on OCTranspo to get me to work on time.

I usually leave for work an hour and twenty minutes early, but that is no guarantee anymore.

The platform crowding resulting from bus and train delays and the unwillingness of commuters to respect the courtesy seating policies mean that I may not be able to board.

I started relying on Uber at a cost of about $40 per day, but recently decided that I should give the money to people I know who may be able to help with transportation instead.

That cost is untenable, and one that most people could not afford." — Natalie

Three regular LRT commuters weigh in on the challenges they face in their commutes, who is accountable and whether they'll keep taking transit. 12:20

About the Author

Doug Hempstead

CBC Ottawa's traffic specialist

Doug Hempstead is CBC Ottawa's traffic specialist and can be heard on CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning and All In A Day. Sometimes, he even sleeps. Originally from the Ottawa Valley, he is a musician and family man - married with two daughters. Doug is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years experience in the region covering all types of news. He welcomes your input on traffic issues and can be called directly while the shows are airing at 613-288-6900. Tweet him at @cbcotttraffic or @DougHempstead. His e-mail is doug.hempstead@cbc.ca.

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