Seniors Speak Out on OC Transpo Route Cuts

SCOTT TAYLOR, Ottawa Sun, Saturday, April 2, 2011

A blind woman hoped OC Transpo planners would be able to see the difficulties she will face as a result of proposed route cuts and alterations.

Shelley Ann Morris was one of about 35 people who attended an information session at the Churchill Seniors Recreation Centre Saturday afternoon.

“I use the bus every day,” she said. “I take the 103 to my job and that’s going to be axed. One of the things they suggested to me was to take the
number 9, but that’s a 15-minute walk east on Coventry Rd. in a city where it snows five months of the year. And there are no audible traffic signals
on that stretch, so that’s just not doable.”

She said the number 18 also stops next to where she works but taking that would mean a transfer at a very busy and loud St. Laurent Shopping Centre.

“For me, transferring isn’t just an inconvenience, it can be very difficult. I would love it if one of the councillors would follow me around one day and
see how it feels to travel when you’re blind.”

The session was one of many planned to receive feedback from the public.

There was concern that it would be impossible for seniors and those with disabilities to come and go in the evenings, weekends and holidays.

Maxine Hamilton, 73, said that while she can get to where she needs to go much of the time on the 150, it’s important to keep the number 16 running
regularly in order to bypass the Westboro Transitway Station after the sun goes down.

“I can get to the transitway on the 150, but that station at night is dark,it’s unfriendly, the elevators frequently don’t work. I am very, very
nervous about using that station at night.”

Saturday’s meeting was the latest in a series.

Council will decide on the transit routes changes in mid-April.


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