Public transit should be built according to rider needs
In December 2018, several transit advocates met with OC Transpo to discuss improvements to bus service in Vanier. A strategic decision was made to focus on restoring route 12 – not because that’s the most important problem in the city, but because it would be so easy to fix. We wanted to see if OC Transpo was willing to respond to rider requests on an issue that would cost no additional money, would require no further investment, no changes to infrastructure, no training, no additional staff, no trade-offs with competing needs … merely a willingness to accommodate the needs of riders.
At the meeting, we presented OC Transpo executives with a petition signed by almost 200 people asking for the 12 to be restored and the report from the Vanier Forum describing what people in Vanier want.
We heard nothing.
One of our board members submitted an ATIP request to see what OC Transpo had done with our modest suggestions.
For the record, we offered two potential solutions: 1) continue route 12 along Queen to Kent and start/finish the route on Kent at Sparks, or 2) continue along Queen to finish near the Lyon station, then loop around to the left and re-start the route on Kent.
Here is an image of the map.
City staff proposed other options, but decided that even this minor change would require additional cost – $500,000 to $600,000 per year.
We can see no reason why a modest change to route 12 would cost anything.
It seems that OC Transpo and city staff are determined to resist calls to consider the needs of riders (especially riders from a low-income, transit-dependent neighbourhood) when making decisions.
Disappointing, frustrating, discouraging …