LRT riders starting to get on each others’ nerves

by | Nov 15, 2019

People exit the train at Tunney’s Pasture station on the new LRT line on Nov. 15. Photo by Eden Suh.

With daily delays and frequent overcrowding, LRT riders are getting frustrated with each other as well as the City and OC Transpo.

“The number one annoying thing is that everyone wants to rush to get on the train, nobody wants to wait.” Mohamed Miguil said Friday as he waited at Tunney’s Pasture on his regular LRT trip to work near the Lyon station. 

Miguil claims that people pushing through the train doors at once are not allowing people to leave the train in peace (and in one piece). “I would say that’s the number one thing I hate about the LRT. The fact that people are not patient enough to get on the train,” he said.

The LRT was supposed to alleviate the pressures of commuting for people in Ottawa. Back in 2017, it was advertised on the OC Transpo website as a quicker, more reliable route for commuters. However, ever since its debut in September 2019, the system has suffered for unreliability, delays and overcrowding.

Commuters from the outskirts of the city have experienced crowded stations that have added time to their already-long commute.

“I’ve definitely waited at Tunney’s Pasture for a lot longer than I would have in the past. It’s definitely added time. About 15-20 minutes,” said Joseph Auge, a student at Algonquin College.

“Quite often people will crowd the train doors,” he said. “It ends up being a big mash of people trying to get by one another. That ends up taking the most time.”

“Patrons can cause a great deal of issues by forcing themselves on to an overly crowded train instead of waiting for the next,” said Christopher Grossi, a law student at the University of Ottawa. “It’s an anxiety brought by the fact that the system is inherently unreliable,” he said. 

Stephanie Poncos is a student at the University of Ottawa who commutes from Kanata. Before the LRT was established, there were regularly scheduled buses that would take commuters of Kanata straight to downtown Ottawa via bus 61 and 62. Now the two buses will only take commuters to Tunney’s Pasture, which is where most commuters experience difficulty. 

“I wish they could have kept some (buses) that still go straight to downtown. Not just drop everybody off at one point. It just gets too crowded at one stop,” Poncos said.

In an interview on the CBC Friday morning, the chair of the City’s transport committee said the City is reaching out to other municipalities to see whether they have buses to spare that could help Ottawa cope with its problems.

Employees of OC Transpo declined to comment for this story.



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