JOUR 1 – Voyage matinale

My commute to work this morning went a lot smoother than it did last year at the start of the #TransitChallenge2020 (no broken down buses or Mack-King black holes).
This morning, I invited CBC Ottawa to Orléans to share an east end perspective of the challenges our community has been facing for months now.

I got on the 39 at the Trim Park and Ride and shared a conversation with Sean, an operator who spends most of his day serving our community. Je suis embarqué sur la 39 à 7:30AM depuis la station Trim en direction Blair, et j’ai eu la chance d’avoir une belle conversation avec Sean, un conducteur d’autobus qui travaille souvent dans le secteur Orléans.

The Presto reader on the bus was not working properly and it made getting on quite a bit slower than normal, with my fellow riders doing their best to tap and pay. The double-deckers take a very long time to load and unload as compared to the 60-foot buses, which makes me question their efficiency as a rush hour bus.

À la station Blair, le train arrive à chaque 4min. Mon voyage se passe bien, malgré l’espace restrain. We were already in the fare paid zone, so there was no opportunity to tap to ensure our fares were paid properly. Mon voyage sur le train se termine à l’arrêt uOttawa, pour retrouver le sentier polyvalent du canal Rideau qui me mène à l’hotel de ville.

Just like last year, I will start my commute in a different corner of the ward in order to experience firsthand the issues I have been working to fix on your behalf.

DAY 1: Evening commute

Well, the train is running with 13 doubles this afternoon (so far) with 3 minutes between trains. I skipped the first two that went by at uOttawa station because they were just too full. Transfer at Blair was smooth, but we really need to split the Orléans traffic so that the platforms don’t overcrowd.

C’est frustrant de voir des autobus 39 qui ne s’arrêtent pas prêt de l’arrêt désigné. Pourquoi avoir des arrêts désignés s’ils ne sont pas respectés? De plus, ça parait que les étudiants sont en semaine de relâche. L’autobus aurait pu être beaucoup plus remplis.

Otherwise, a decent commute. Side-note: the sidewalks need some closer attention during freezing rain events. I almost bailed on my way to the train.

JOUR 2 – Voyage matinale

This morning, I took the 38 bus from Champlain and Jeanne d’Arc. This route is constantly on my radar due to complaints of inconsistency.
Luckily, today, it arrived on time and we headed off to Blair station. I remain concerned that service is sorely lacking on Jeanne d’Arc between Trim and Champlain, however. A car cut the bus off near St. Matthew High School and the operator reacted well. Drivers should be aware of their surroundings and more courteous, especially in school zones.
En arrivant à la station Blair, on nous informe que le train est retenu. J’ai posé la question à l’ambassadeur OC Transpo, “pourquoi le train est-il retenu?”, mais il n’avait pas plus d’information à partager. Cependant, le train est arriver en avance des prévisions, d’après les tableaux indicatifs. Mon attente pour le train était de 10min.
I spent a few minutes chatting with the LRT operator before we boarded. Kind, honest and polite, he’s just as frustrated with the ongoing issues as we are. “I still get paid if the train goes down, but I feel for everyone that depends on us to get them to work on time,” he said.
Le train s’est aussi arrêté à la station Hurdman pour un délai prolongé de 1 minute, à cause d’un bouchon de circulation d’après l’annonce automatisée. En sortant de la station uOttawa, j’ai croisé ma collègue, la conseillère Councillor Jan Harder de Barrhaven.
Overall, my commute took me 70 minutes from Orléans Wood this morning. After a bit of a chilly walk from uOttawa, I am sitting at Transit Commission for updates on Para Transpo, LRT and bus operations, and an update on GPS/User friendly app for buses.
DAY 2 – Evening commute
I had some company on my way to Blair Station! Tim Tierney and I discussed our shared transit issues and committed to continue working together to improve transit after spending the day together at Transit Commission.
Il y avait 13 trains doubles qui opéraient aujourd’hui, et même si la Ligne de la Confédération était un peu encombrée, nous sommes arrivés à la station Blair sans tarder.
I’m really looking forward to the improvements to Blair Station platform that Tim, Laura, Stephen and I have been pushing for and confirmed today by OC Transpo, because I wasn’t sure I was going to fit on the 39 to Place d’Orléans due to cross traffic.
Merci d’avoir partagé vos expériences avec moi dans le bus aujourd’hui. J’ai eu de très bonnes conversations entre Blair et Place d’Orléans.
JOUR 3 – Voyage matinale
This morning I took the 33 from François Dupuis Recreation Center to ride the entire route through Ward 1. It was 6 mins early and I had to run pretty hard to the bus stop to make it. The driver was nice and stopped for me, but early starts like this tell me we still have major scheduling issues. In my conversations with individual operators, especially those with lower seniority, this always comes up. Insufficient turn around time leads to early starts in the am and lateness in the evening, cascading throughout the system. Don’t get me wrong, I could use the exercise, but what if I had a mobility issue? Would the driver have waited for me, or even seen me flapping my arms like a penguin?

Le trajet est long puisque le 33 couvre plusieurs secteurs, mais c’était très agréable de serpenter au travers de Fallingbrook sans me préoccuper de ma conduite et de mon véhicule. J’ai pu noter quelques problèmes d’entretien des routes. Je vais certainement faire le suivi avec nos équipes d’entretien. J’ai aussi remarqué plusieurs pancartes éléctorale, et ça m’a rappelé que les bureaux de vote par anticipation sont ouvert dès aujourd’hui. Consultez le site Web d’ Elections Ontario pour plus d’informations.

From Place d’Orléans to Blair, a 39 was in front of us the entire time. It was packed, but we were not. The bunching of routes remains an issue, especially when it comes to the 33 and 233. We need to get routes spread more evenly to provide more travel options and prevent overcrowding.

Sur l’autoroute 174, nous filons à bonne allure, dépassant voiture après voiture. J’avais un grand sourire aux lèvres. Lorsque le réseau fonctionne comme il se doit, l’autobus est une option de transport efficace et incroyable. Lorsqu’il y a cancellation ou délai par contre, vous connaissez déjà la fin de l’histoire.

At Blair station, I just missed a train coming up the stairs, but the next one arrived two minutes later. We sat on the platform for two extra minutes and, it is cold on the legs with the doors open.


Luckily, I experienced no delays today and made it to City Hall in under an hour, including wait times and walking. Now, I’m headed into Community and Protective Services Committee where I’ll find out how
Jenna Sudds commute from the west went this morning! I’ve been reading the other Councillor’s accounts all week long to compare the issues we face, and to get a better understanding of how we might work together to resolve the common problems.

Until the commute home, stay warm out there!
DAY 3 – Evening commute
*UPDATE 1 *: 2 trains are offloading at Cyrville due to brake faults. R1 bus service is in place from St-Laurent to Blair. I have been in contact with OC Transpo as I want riders to get onto buses to Blair as quickly and safely as possible.
*UPDATE 2*: Service has been restored.
I took the LRT from uOttawa to Blair this afternoon and again found  Tim Tierney on his way to Beacon-Hill Cyrville for the last meetings of the day. It’s good to run into another East End Councillor taking the challenge!
We just missed the train again on the way up the stairs, but another arrived in 4 minutes.
La plate-forme de Blair était bondée de gens qui attendaient un bus, augmentant le besoin d’améliorations. J’ai eu du mal à me rendre au bus 236 à cause du nombre de personnes. Pourquoi utiliserions-nous un bus de 40 pieds sur une ligne de bus de la série 200?
I got off the bus early on 10th Line to check out the sidewalk on way to Ray Friel Recreation Complex where I keep a local office. Not bad for this time of year! They were clear and salted well.
Demain, je devrai faire des allers-retours depuis le centre-ville pour des réunions dans les deux bureaux. Au plaisir de vous faire savoir comment ça se passe!
JOUR 4 – Voyage matinale

I get a lot of complaints about the 39, and for good reason. In my opinion, it amalgamated too many important routes and left Springridge, parts of Cardinal Creek and Fallingbrook without a quick, easy route to Blair. While today is a bit of an exception with the Teacher’s Strike and it being reading week, I still wanted to get a feel for the length and the pressures felt by AM 39 users. I started at Millennium Park and Ride (which was nearly empty) and caught up with Kyle, who was driving the 25.

The 39 was on time (again, less pressure on the system today) and the operator was awesome! We chatted all the way to Blair about mental health, the Transportation Master Plan and other city issues. I appreciated the honesty, trust and warmth of this conversation. This route, however, could be more frequent and more reliable in the early hours. I receive numerous complaints from residents in Springridge and Fallingbrook about missed trips, overcrowding and the milk run route. Glad to experience it firsthand. I’ll make an effort to take it earlier on another day to get a better feel for the pressure of a busier morning.

The train was running well this morning. Friday’s have, for some reason, been bad luck charms for the LRT lately, and I fully expected a mess. I met up with Dave, and old pal from high school who moved back to Orléans (as many of us do) and has been using public transit over the past year to and from work. It was good to get his perspective and to have some company between Blair and Hurdman.

Je suis débarqué du train à la station
uOttawa car j’ai rendez-vous avec le comité de sélection ce matin. Espérons que j’aurai plus à vous dire sur le sujet dans les jours qui suivent.

La marche de la station allait bien mieux aujourd’hui. Les trottoirs était déneigés et le sel distribué. Le sel peux affecter l’infrastructure et l’environnement, donc j’espére pouvoir explorer des alternatives éfficaces lors de la revue du Plan directeur des transports. Le pont piétonnier Corktown était en bien meilleur état aujourd’hui, bien déneigé. Je me suis arrêter quelques moments pour admirer la beauté de la Patinoire du canal Rideau.

I have meetings in Orléans today, so I’ll be travelling back off-peak. With the continuing issues we’re facing, I’ll be taking
OC Transpo more often, as I have found this week to be very enlightening. Besides, I’ve seen more old friends and great conversations that I’ve missing out on in the solitude of the commute in my car. I’ll admit, it’s easy to get into a bit of a bubble as an elected official. I’m all over the city, meeting people at their homes, taking part in consultations and attending meetings and committees. I try my best to pop that bubble by using city programs, taking part in Play Time at the Ottawa Public Library / Bibliothèque publique d’Ottawa and parenting workshops at Orléans-Cumberland CRC that are put on by Ottawa Public Health. I still have a fitness membership that I use far too infrequently, but using the services the city offers is important to me.

J’espère que votre journée va bien! À bientôt!

DAY 4 – Midday commute (now with with bonus Elizabeth Manley Classic content!)
I decided to take the LRT from Tunney’s Pasture and ride the full length of the Confederation Line. Because I’m usually in East end or at City Hall, this was an opportunity to audit a little further West. The train arrived on time and I started making my way East. That stretch from Parliament past Rideau Station still smells pretty gross.

I can’t wait until they get that fixed. It’s off-peak, so the train wasn’t busy. Someone decided to squeeze in the doors at the last minute. “Oh, here we go,” I thought, but he made it without tripping the safety features. We were on our way.

At Blair station, I took the 25 to Millenium. Two buses showed up at the same time. I took the one that pulled up second as it was nearly empty. I’m not sure what caused one to be so late that they’d pull up together at this hour. Innes road is in really rough shape. I know there are portions due to be resurfaced soon, but man, I got jostled around at the back of the 60-foot bus.
Quelques cannes de cidre roulait au sol de l’autobus. Il est interdit de boire de l’alcool sur l’autobus, même les vendredi.
J’ai manqué ma connexion à Millenium, donc j’ai du attendre pour le prochain autobus 30.
Impossible de ne pas remarquer la croissance d’Orléans depuis mon enfance. Les seuls choses de construite au sud d’Innes, c’était le Builder’s Warehouse et le reservoir d’eau. Si seulement le parc Millenium aurait été construit, quel bijou, un vrai plaisir!
I had a coffee before getting on the train and I definitely regretted it because there are no bathrooms at Millennium. At least the increased ferocity of my pacing kept me warm.
I hopped on the 30 headed to Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex to hand out medals to some incredible figure skaters at the Gloucester Skating Club Elizabeth Manley Classic. I made it with 12 minutes to spare and enough time to catch up with the facility director on a few files.
C’est la deuxième année d’affilé que j’ai l’honneur de présenter des rubans et médailles à ces jeunes athlètes. La discipline de ces jeunes est incroyable, et j’adore avoir l’occasion d’appuyer les clubs de sport ici à Orléans. Le Conseiller Tim Tierney et moi avons commandité l’événement. Merci aux organisateurs de m’avoir invité!
After the festivities, Michaël and I hopped on the 131 and headed back to our office at Ray Friel Recreation Complex. We caught up with Kyle the operator again! We also ran into our roads crew clearing the views by casting snowbanks. Thank for your hard work, team!

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