I am astonished that the media has not covered the level of STO service, or lack thereof, that Aylmer residents are now receiving. Many residents have submitted letters to the Bulletin concerning service levels, but, as individual one-offs, these do not have a cumulative impact influencing decisions and efforts made by our local councillors to improve current conditions. A major feature-size news article is required that provides real evidence and captures what Aylmer residents are facing. There is no lack of material. For example:
• First, note how service levels to the Rivermead Park and Ride were cut last September, followed by the closure of the Hippodrome Park and Ride on January 16, 2017.
• Next, note how the Councillors avoided widespread unrest and split public opinion by offering improved service to residents in the far western sectors of Aylmer at the expense of residents living in the eastern sector of Aylmer and the Hull Sector along Alexandre Tache Boulevard.
• Next, photograph side streets each morning all along Aylmer Road to capture parked cars and numerous clients standing at each bus stop as a result of the Rivermead and Hippodrome Park and Ride closings
• Next, photograph buses at full capacity passing stranded clients at these bus stops along Aylmer Road and Tache Blvd.
• Next, photograph the crowds from 4:30 pm to 6 pm in front of the Parliament Buildings waiting for Aylmer buses and the long lines to get in when one finally arrives (seldom an articulated bus).
• Next, photograph many of the almost empty 200 and 800 series new articulated buses to Gatineau that pass the Parliament buildings in the late afternoon to clearly demonstrate inequitable service levels, depending on what sector of Gatineau one lives. (A fraction of these 200 and 800 series buses re-allocated to Aylmer would make a real difference.)
• Next, note the assignment of only one of the forty series bus lines (#41) that will stop on Aylmer Road at the Rivermead intersection from Ottawa, yet they will all stop at any of the other stops.
• Finally, interview each of the Aylmer councillors and the mayor to understand what efforts they are making to address STO Service levels in Aylmer/Hull prior to the next election. (Try and obtain real measures and not a commitment to more “public meetings”).
This is a story begging for attention and political debate.
Aylmer Sector (January 2017)