Mila Martel still remembers the day OC Transpo’s articulated buses surrendered to a little bit of snow.
“They got so stuck,” the Kanata resident said yesterday. “One of the buses got stuck and buses got stuck behind it. I had to get off and walk. They were just letting people on without transfers because they wanted to get people moving.”
In December 2005, the city received 20 centimetres of snow during a peak period, causing a major delay. “It was gridlock,” recalled Ottawa-area resident and commuter, Alex Star. “Traffic was trying to get around it but nobody could really move. I was late for work.”
The buses fared better yesterday through Ottawa’s first winter storm of ’07. There were five to 10-minute delays, but buses were back on schedule by noon despite continuing snowfall, said city spokesman Eric Collard.
Ottawa had received about 40 centimetres of snow by nightfall yesterday, causing messy roads and general traffic delays. There were 26 collisions by mid-afternoon, said Ottawa Police Constable Al Boucher.
“Drivers are not adjusting to driving in road conditions,” said Boucher.
But in Gatineau, Constable Isabelle Poirier said people seemed to be exercising caution. “I think a lot of people stayed at home,” she said.
Buses for all Ottawa school boards were cancelled. But the worst is over, said Geoff Coulson, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada. There will be no additional accumulation until the next system on Friday, he said.