To some extent I think it’s human nature to complain.

It’s less common to hear those around us (or ourselves) doling out compliments than it is to hear rants about everything that’s wrong.

Certainly there are many rant-worthy elements to Ottawa’s transit system, but when you ride the bus day in and day out you start to realize that there’s actually a fair bit to appreciate about being a passenger in the capital.

Some things actually work pretty well.

When I first moved here I remember being quite pleasantly surprised by the efficiency and ease of the OC Transpo website, especially the travel planner.

I had previously lived in Kingston — where busing was a nightmare — and before that Toronto, which surprisingly didn’t have anything as efficient as a travel planner on the Toronto transit site.

In fact, last I checked the biggest city in Canada still didn’t have any kind of website-based travel planner.

So I found it immensely helpful to have a way to quickly find out the easiest, and any alternative way, to get where I needed to go on the bus.

For a city as geographically spread out as Ottawa, I think it’s also impressive that — with a little patience and ample time —you really can get just about anywhere you need to go via transit.

With cautious optimism I say I believe this is going to get better in the future, and that planned changes will make travel to the far corners and boroughs of Ottawa more efficient for riders.

Compared to other cities I think Ottawa transit can also take pride in its cleanliness.

Aside from the occasional abandoned coffee cup or newspaper, the seats and aisles are usually free from litter.

And the bus surfaces — including the upholstery, windows, floors and poles — really don’t display the grime that tens of thousands of riders per day likely create.

The same nod to general tidiness can be given to most of the stops and transit stations too, especially since the city passed the bylaw prohibiting smoking on OC Transpo property. In fact, if there were some way to stop people from spitting, I might be inclined to declare the stops pristine.

By tomorrow I am sure I will have a list of complaints that might negate all the OC Transpo love I’m feeling today, but for today I am happy to tip my hat to everything that’s working just right.

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