Headline News By Peter Tremblay 222 Views

O-Train Headaches: Car ownership still important in Ottawa

There were delays on Ottawa’s light rail on Thursday morning, leaving several passengers stranded at the Tunney Pasture station.

This is the third time in one week that the LRT line has been delayed, fuelling speculations that the transport line might not be the answer to Ottawa’s commute challenges.

John Manconi, general manager of transportation services released a statement addressing the delay on Thursday afternoon, citing ‘computer failure’ as the reason for the difficulties experienced by the O-Train service.

In his memo to the council, Manconi said the system controlling one of the trains failed and had to be reset. A process that involved completely rebooting the system and ensuring the technical support team were fully engaged.

However, he added that investigations are still ongoing as the process is usually conducted quicker than the Thursday experience.

The LRT’s western section experienced delays due to the shutdown of the O-Train at Bayview station, with trains having to run on one track between the Tunney Pasture and Lyon station.

The previous mornings, the O-Train service still caused delays as it was stopped due to problems with the doors. While a technical glitch led to Wednesday’s delay, on Tuesday morning, the O-Train service was halted at Ottawa after a passenger forcefully opened a closing train door.

It is a known fact that public transportation helps to save our environment. But as Ottawa residents keep suffering several inconveniences with public transportation like the new O-train and its doors, owning a car might still be very important.

With your own personal car, it becomes very easy to move around as you are in complete control of your schedule and don’t have to worry about public transportation like the O-Train. Owning a car grants driversthe freedom to manage their time appropriately.

Additionally, considering the consistent delays on the LRT line, car ownership might be considerably useful in emergency situations. Rather than waiting long hours or several minutes, you can drive yourself to your desired location.

Leah Williams, a regular passenger, expressed via a tweet her displeasure with the consistent delays on the O-Train service as she desperately needed to be at work early.

Though car insurance rates are climbing across the country—with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) citing lack of concentration and the expensive cost of fixing modern tech-filled cars as one of the reasons why—it is still possible to get the best car insurance quotes in Ottawa and save yourself money and time.

Cumberland Coun. and former city transit commission chairman, Stephen Blais said that the issues arising with the O-Train service were not expected by the commission but would definitely be addressed.

According to him, the train service was bound to encounter some minor challenges but not as bad as they are witnessing currently. However, he called for patience from the public as they battle to ensure that everything is back to order.

For Glen Gower, Stittsville Coun., he noted that the train service must be improved if citizens are to continue to patronize it.

Glover said that the service has been “pretty awful” with consistent delays during peak hours for three days straight, leading to frustration from passengers.

The past three delays on the LRT line has been caused by technical challenges and according to Jeff Casello, a University of Waterloo professor in the school of planning, the computer failures are not often predictable until launch.

Casello said the issues with the doors are common with new transit systems as they don’t often appear until passengers start boarding. However, he added that the system recovery time should be critically looked into as it is unusually slow.

As Ottawa residents slowly lose their faith in public transportation, car ownership is gradually becoming the better choice for easy movement.

But, Manconi has assured passengers that the city is making major changes to the problematic Tunney’s Pasture and Blair stations.

The city is extending the railing on the north side of the Tunney’s Pasture station to wade people off the roadway. Also, the northern and southern platform has been expanded, with the city considering the installation of “weather protection” on some portions.

There are now more signages to guide commuters at the Blair station and some buses have been rerouted to different areas along the platform. They are also tow trucks and additional buses on standby in cases of emergencies.

In the memo, Manconi apologized to commuters about the repeated delays on the city’s LRT line but promised that the commission is working hard to ensure that the O-Train service meets their expectations.

As citizens continue to hope that the commission fixes the repeated issues with the LRT line, now seems like a good time to own a car and take advantage of best auto insurance rates available.