Complaints spark independent audit

From broken elevators at Transitway terminals, to snowbanks that clog bus stops, a list of complaints by disabled riders has sparked an "accessibility audit" of Ottawa’s transit system.



"We accept that there are accessibility issues within the system," Victor Emerson, the chair of the Accessibility Advisory Committee, said yesterday. "If we are going to address these problems we have to know where to best allocate funds."



Emerson said the advisory committee wants an objective, independent audit of the system that will report its findings back to the transit committee.

However, Alain Mercier, Ottawa’s director of transit services, said that many of the issues that would be addressed in the audit could also be examined during a scheduled transit service review this spring.

"It’s really a question of degree of detail," Mercier said. "Perhaps we’ll have to be more exhaustive in this area."

Yesterday, the transit committee approved the audit, but the transit service and the advisory committee will need to work out terms of reference to avoid duplication.

Also yesterday, the committee opted to keep buses rolling to Kars.

During budget consultations in December, Coun. Glen Brooks (Rideau-Goulbourn) had suggested the city could save money by cancelling part of a route servicing Kars and North Gower that, according to surveys, residents in the area did not want and attracted just 11 passengers a day.

People who rode the 45 route called the proposal short sighted, however. There is sufficient population in the south end to warrant service, but since the bus only comes twice a day, many people are forced to drive.

"We should be encouraging people to ride use transit not taking it away from them," said Andrew Geraghty, "If anything we should be increasing service on that route."

long way’s away

  • Results from the service review will not be delivered until January 2009.