Ottawa

Rural bus service made its last stop Tuesday

South Mountain Stagecoach made its last run Tuesday after more than three years connecting rural customers south of Ottawa to the city's transit system.
Bus line owner Dan Grant said he isn't ruling out a return of the service, but said it doesn't make financial sense right now. (Ryan Gibson/CBC)

A privately owned charter bus that connected rural customers south of Ottawa to the city's transit system made its last run Tuesday.

South Mountain Stagecoach ran for 3 ½ years, shuttling people from communities as far south as Inkerman and South Mountain to stops along the Transitway.

But owner and driver Dan Grant said the demand just wasn't there. He said rural buses serving the west-to-east routes in and out of Ottawa have had more success.

"I've looked at every angle at the numbers. But the biggest problem is just getting people out of their cars," said Grant.

The route of the South Mountain Stagecoach, which makes its final run on August 1. (South Mountain Stagecoach)

Commuters don't look forward to drive

Osgoode resident Ulrich Werneburg has been riding the bus since the service started. He said he's dreading the switch from passenger to driver.

"Traffic problems, extra time … it will cost me an extra $200 a month," said Werneburg. "Not enough people in the country know about the service for some reason."

OC Transpo tried to promote South Mountain's service by listing its route on OC Transpo's website, but Grant said it wasn't enough.

"It's a very sad day today," said Grant's wife, Josée Villeneuve. "The people here, we are a real family."