January 13, 2009

Ottawa colleges link shuttle bus systems

With the OC Transpo strike in Ottawa, Ontario, entering its second month, four area colleges have agreed to link their shuttle bus services, collaborating on routes, schedules and pick-up locations.

Algonquin College, Carleton University, La Cite collegial and the University of Ottawa forged the agreement last week, after OC Transpo’s union workers voted to reject the city’s latest contract offer.

“All four institutions decided that it would better help our students, especially those in joint programs, if we could put a system in place that would permit the students from one institution to go to another,” said Julie Tanguay, spokeswoman for the University of Ottawa. “In other words, students from the three other schools who wish to ride our buses will be allowed to do so, if there is space available after University of Ottawa students have boarded.”

The 14 routes operated by the four colleges provide service to several key suburbs in the sprawling city, which covers 1,800 square miles and has a population of 1.2 million.

“They basically have got the entire geographic area of the city covered,” said Steve Blais, a spokesman for Carleton University. To help the buses operate efficiently during the transit strike, the city of Ottawa announced that the shuttle buses will be given dedicated transitway access, he added.

“This strike has been a challenge and difficulty for everyone,” Blais said. “We’ve been getting through it, though.”

 

 

 

 

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