OC Transpo representatives met with Stittsville residents at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex Wednesday night to update them on route changes as well as discuss concerns about current bus service.
Residents were presented with the latest service numbers concerning Stittsville such as capacity and on-time performance. They were then introduced to a new route, the 162, as well as the 96A’s transformation into the 92.
After the formal presentation, residents split up into groups to voice their concerns to OC Transpo staff. These ranged from adding more bus shelters to Stittsville, to frequency improvements, to inquiries about better express service.
OC Transpo staff says requests for increased frequency of service are difficult to meet based on current capacity. As it stands, route 96 leaves Stittsville with 34 per cent capacity at peak operating times in the morning.
Katie MacKenzie, a mother of three twenty-year-olds, said Stittsville bus service isn’t good enough.
“I’m constantly driving them because that’s the only way they can get anywhere on time,” the 49-year-old said.
MacKenzie also said the current service inhibits her daughters from getting student night jobs outside of Stittsville, such as serving in a bar where shifts can finish after midnight. Service from Kanata’s Terry Fox station via route 96 to Stittsville doesn’t run past 12 a.m. on a Saturday, for example.
“People have said ‘well, you live in Stittsville, you can afford to buy your kids a car,’” she said. “Really? Just because I live in Stittsville, I can afford to buy three children a car? No, I don’t think so.”
Councillor Shad Qadri said this type of issue is relatively new for Stittsville.
“I remember back in 2004 or 2005 when people in Stittsville didn’t even want OC Transpo service to be included as part of the community,” he said. “As the community expands, new requests come in and that’s what we’re working towards with this meeting going forward.”
Qadri acknowledged that Stittsville lacks local service. He said the transformation of the 96A into the 92 will help this as well as confusion associated with similar stop numbers.
“The 92 will serve not only parts of Stittsville, it will also serve parts of Kanata and enhance that service to Tanger mall and other parts of Kanata, also. That is due to the request by young people in terms of where they’re working and not being able to commute home when their shifts end.”
The status of Stittsville’s express service was also discussed, namely routes 261, 262 and 263. Some residents would like to see more direct routes to downtown with fewer stops in between.
OC Transpo representatives took note of resident feedback and said they’ll consider it for any future action.
JUNE ROUTE CHANGES
- Route 162 will operate between Terry Fox Station and Stittsville via Palladium drive, servicing Huntmar Drive, Maple Grove Road, Johnwoods Street, Hazeldean Road and West Ridge Drive.
- The re-numbered 92 will travel on the same streets as the current 96A, with the exception of driving along Campeau Drive instead of Katimavik Road.
- Both of these changes will take place in June 2015.