OC Transpo will suspend most articulated bus services and switch to Saturday service if more than 31 cm of snow is forecast for Ottawa during weekdays this winter.
Public transport launches new ‘Severe Storm Schedule’ pilot for weekday buses to prepare for possible heavy snow and other severe weather after complaints that articulated buses struggle to operate during heavy snow doing.
“OC Transpo articulated buses often struggle to operate in deep snow, sometimes getting stuck and causing serious disruption to transit customers,” said Renee Amilcar, General Manager of Transit Services. In a memo to the Council, Mr.
“We are working closely with other city departments to plan and implement services during the difficult winter conditions.”
The Amalgamated Transit Union said at least 150 buses were stuck in a snowbank when Ottawa received 48 cm of snow on January 17. The union has asked the city to come up with a better plan to keep buses running during the blizzard.
Amilcar outlined plans for the bus’ Severe Storm Schedule pilot to the council on Thursday. If more than 31 cm of snow or other severe conditions are expected on weekdays, then:
- Most articulated buses will be replaced with 40-foot double-decker buses to improve service reliability, Amilcar said.
- On weekdays, based on the Saturday schedule, early morning flights and weekday-only routes are limited.A trip is added to the route serving the hospital
In the case of heavy snow, there will be no changes to Paratranspo and Autotrain operations.
Amilcar said the Severe Storm Schedule will not be enforced if a severe storm is expected on Saturday or Sunday, but some articulated buses will be extended over a 40-foot double deck to “improve service reliability.” It will be replaced by a built-in bus.
OC Transpo will launch a “robust communication plan” to notify customers in advance of changes in bus schedules during bad weather, Amilcar said. In December he updated the OC Transpo Travel Planner so passengers can see how their trip changes during heavy storm schedules.