Reply to Patrick Parnam's letter (June 1)
It is easy to travel to Ottawa via the STO during off-peak hours. When I did take the bus and my wife was working late, I would purposely work late as well so we could both go home together by bus. The problem exists for those working regular business hours (7:30 am to 4:30 pm). I recall being on 40-something buses heading home that were packed before they arrived on the Quebec side, sometimes packed while still on the Ottawa side. This meant waiting up to 30 minutes for a bus (15 minutes for the first packed bus, and another 15 minutes for the next one). Consider the winter months when the temperature is below -20 and buses are delayed even more due to weather conditions.
Aylmerites are losing the temporary Park-n-Ride at the former Hippodrome, and now that there will be no more service to Rivermead Park-n-Ride by 40-something bus routes, we will be losing that connectivity, a key transportation hub. Considering those parking spots will be replaced by 35 parking spots at Les Galeries Aylmer (according to the STO website), Aylmerites will be losing a huge chunk of parking space at Park-n-Rides. According to colleagues who live in Aylmer and commute by bus to Ottawa, both the Hippodrome parking lot and the Rivermead lot are close to full every morning – just to show how many Aylmerites take the bus to and from work each day.
After reviewing the new STO screwed-up transportation plan for Aylmer, I decided to start taking the bus to and from work and I will continue to do so until the new plan is implemented by the STO. I will continue to take the bus to and from work for one month to see for myself if the STO service has improved or not. After that month is over, I will write to the Bulletin outlining my unbiased findings.