More buses, please!
There’s been some debate lately, in the Bulletin, on the City Council and around town, about tramways on Chemin Aylmer and their impact on the city – and its population growth around the areas of the tramway, as well as issues of land expropriation.
These are important topics for the long term, but in the short term we need to address the fact that our bus lines are completely saturated at rush hour, from about 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. It’s at the point where, if you’re trying to board a bus at Terrasses de la Chaudière during those hours, there’s a good chance the buses that arrive will already be full and won’t open their doors. It’s unacceptable that people can’t get home easily during those hours, and will often have to wait for an extra 15 to 20 minutes, not to mention how uncomfortable it is being jammed in and squished against other passengers when you do get to board. Perhaps the most important impact of this is that people who would otherwise take the bus see the level of service and decide to stick with their cars, thereby making traffic worse for buses and cars alike.
There’s a fairly straightforward solution to all of this – STO should purchase more extended buses. At most, a third of all buses that run during rush hour are extended, but the ones that are longer almost always have space for new passengers.
Making all buses on the 55 and 59 routes operating during rush hour extended buses would vastly improve the comfort of passengers, and is something that could be ready in a matter of months, at least with the proper political will. No rails or expropriations required.
All of us jammed against our fellow passengers in a bus inching along Alexandre Taché at 4:00 pm hope that the city provides true solutions soon.
PS I really enjoyed the special section in this week’s edition on famous women of Aylmer. Thanks for putting that together.