Ottawa is going to experiment with on-demand transit – a shared-ride system that allows riders to “book” a small bus using an app. It seeks to combine the convenience of taxi/Uber with the cost savings of a bus. About 20 communities across Canada have tested a form of on-demand transit since 2015.
The Ottawa Transit Riders is surprised to hear that OC Transpo is planning to use “idle” Para buses for this pilot project.
Actually, we are shocked that OC Transpo has unused Para buses since Para customers have been complaining for years about lack of capacity. The current fleet is old and in poor condition, sometimes causing cancellations and delays when they break down.
It seems impossible that an on-demand service could use Para buses without adversely affecting the service used by current customers.
Riders who use the accessible transit system describe the proposal as a “kick in the teeth” to people with disabilities who have been advocating for on-demand, same-day service for years. Why is this being rolled out now for able-bodied customers when it has been denied to customers of ParaTranspo for so long?