Finally, some relief. Ottawa has announced it is bringing 40 buses out of retirement to attempt to help ease the OC Transpo crisis. A memo sent out on November 15 confirmed the routes that would receive the extra help.
If you've been following the storyline of the OC Transpo debacle, you'll know transit in Canada's capital has been a mess over the last few weeks.
Ottawa's LRT teething problems have been so bad that commuters even accused OC Transpo of being dishonest about waiting times.
That led to calls from both the public and city councillors for some of the old buses which had been taken out of service to be reinstalled as working transit to ease the morning and evening flow.
And it seems the city has heeded those calls.
Earlier this month, Mayor Jim Watson announced that 40 buses that were off the road but still licensed by the Ministry of Transportation would be brought back into service to ease the growing crisis.
And, on Friday, OC Transpo and the city revealed which routes the rehabilitated buses would serve.
General manager John Manconi sent out a memo to councillors and transit commissioners, reports the Ottawa Citizen. In the memo, Manconi explained the allocation of the 40 buses was decided via feedback from transit riders, OC staff, and city councillors.
"We are assigning some buses to stand by at key locations so that our supervisory staff are able to dispatch them to replace regularly-scheduled trips that are missing or late," Manconi said in the memo, as quoted by CBC.
"We are assigning some buses to provide supplementary trips on routes that have had consistent reliability issues or that have had consistent reports or observations of crowding."
Overall, the buses will serve every ward of the city. In most cases, the extra vehicles will simply enhance existing routes.
Others, though, will be used as so-called "standbys" to help clear the desperate backlogs that have built up at locations like Tunney's Pasture, Fallowfield, Hurdman, and Blair stations.
Manconi advised that further adjustments may be made until the end of the year. Per the city's preliminary budget for next year, the city is also intending to order 19 new buses.
According to CTV, the memo also says OC Transpo is preparing new schedules for many routes for the January 2020 start-of-year service change.
Mayor Watson has also pledged $3.5 million to add to OC Transpo's budget, per CBC.
In addition to the 40 buses, Watson also pledged $3.5 million to be added to OC Transpo's budget to boost service levels.