Hundreds of confused and frustrated transit riders lined up to purchase bus passes or ask about refunds Thursday in response to the sudden change in OC Transpo’s December refund policy.
Standing in line at the Rideau Centre kiosk to purchase a new pass, Kris Layton said the entire program has turned into a “huge farce.”
The city councillors “flip-flop back and forth. It’s frustrating,” he said. “They think that by making the books square for them, it’s going to appease us. That’s not really just, but you can’t really do anything about it except not vote for them.”
Waleed Jabran was in line to get a refund on his December express pass, because express service would not be coming back until April anyway.
“I’m pissed,” he said. “Express bus passes pretty much get screwed. We don’t have buses in our area. So I’m just going to return my pass and get my $100 and when they do come back, I’ll pay for it then.”
Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson said that express pass holders get a 20 per cent discount for April and May, but only if they hold onto their December passes.
She said kiosk agents should be informing people about that.
“It is a benefit in that they are getting more service than the value of the pass, but they can still cash their passes in,” she said. “The problem is that they have to do it by Feb. 15. We are trying to extend that.”
As she stood in line hoping to get some money back from a full-year pass, Epi Opar said the compensation measures have just made her angry.
“It’s not enough. They went on strike for two months, over Christmas,” she said.
“We were out of school and we couldn’t go anywhere. Now people have to start paying again next week. It’s just not enough.”