Once Ottawa’s transit system is complete, it will be a world-class system, said Mayor Larry O’Brien.
But until then, record ridership numbers mean crowds, which can pose a problem for people who are not as mobile, said O’Brien. “It presents a very real challenge for seniors, and for riders with any kind of physical disability.”
O’Brien, along with transit committee chairman Coun. Alex Cullen and Coun. Steve Desroches, launched the city’s new public awareness campaign, “Cooperative Seating — It’s Your Move,” at the Nepean Sportsplex yesterday.
“We often take for granted the importance of seat availability on the bus,” said Vicky Kyriaco, OC Transpo’s manager of transit marketing and customer services. “If a seat’s not available, we stand up and hang onto the handrail.
“It seems so simple, but for many people, like an expectant mother, an elderly person with a cane or a parent carrying a child, it’s a challenge standing on a moving bus, and they need to sit down.”
The campaign encourages riders to keep moving to the back of the bus and to leave the front seats available for the riders that need them, Kyriaco said. “If they do use the front seats, we encourage them to notice other riders that need them, and to give up their seats.”
New decals, seat identification and signs, some of which were designed by students at Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School, will be installed on all OC Transpo buses and the O-Train to remind riders.