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Erick

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Erick last won the day on October 23

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  1. Entirely possible I have been wrong before. I understand that it is not practical for Gatineau passengers not going to downtown Hull or Centretown Ottawa, but there's a reason the STO network is designed that way, it's where the majority of its passengers want/need to go. Isn't the demand for Aylmer-Tunney's adequately served by the current buses? I have a colleague who lives in Aylmer and works in Vanier and loves the Confederation Line as it cut 30 min off his commute. But long term I am not so sure that the Federal Government wants to stay at Tunney's. They certainly have made many statements about that, and the kerfuffle about where the new Civic hospital is going makes me think that developers would love to put a sea of condos there. Certainly Mayor Watson's reaction made me think about that. That's another important consideration, most of the building there are overdue for demolition and reconstruction... The issue is that a lot of STO passengers would walk to their destination without requiring to get on board the O-Train if the STO LRT goes to Lyon. The Prince of Wales introduces an unnecessary transfer to a lot of passengers. Once the STO LRT is up and running I don't see why anyone would need to wait for an OC bus for any length of time at Portage. Perhaps that's what's misunderstood about the plan and why the PoW may not see rail service again. An STO LRT can do a great job of quickly carrying passengers to Lyon station, where the roads have been redone for STO buses (or eventual LRT) to go to. Quick and easy transfer to where most passengers want to go, which is not the Trilium line. That's the thing, I don't think it would be beneficial to a large number of Gatinois. Some? No doubt, but the STO clearly made the case that the destination is mostly Centretown, and depending on how Lebreton Flat is redeveloped few would need to go there from Gatineau. I have no reason to doubt the analysis of the STO here. I actually believe that their LRT plan makes a lot of sense and that us in Ottawa should do what we can to help them accomplish it.
  2. Sorry about that long comment. I come from the perspective that to be a fan you must be a realist. However dreaming is ok, even better I would say. I would say that for me the bridge has a lot of risk of turning into a nightmare. However coupled with a redevelopment plan on both sides of the river and then the bridge would suddenly become a key piece of infrastructure. As for Portage the dirty secret is that it was designed with tramways in mind, so I am not surprised at all that Gatineau would want to route its LRT there. That being said, has Portage been well maintained? If not, well like you say a lot of money would be sunk. But long term, the Feds would pick up the tab for the most important part. And unfortunately, because the Fed would remain responsible for the major costs of maintaining that bridge, I see no way that Gatineau would pass this up and use Prince of Wales, which is really out of the way of where their customers want to go (which is centre town offices, market). There's no need for grade separation, reserved lanes are good enough for what's it's meant for: a workday commuter train and cost-reduction. Except with downtown Hull I just don't see how you can live in Gatineau without a car, hence why the transit share is as low as it is. It's not going to go up without a radical redesign of the downtown Hull area. I like your idea of converting the Rapibus into rail, but Québec politics being what it is, it's not happening ever. I left Québec (Mtl area) for many reasons including the politics. Not happening. Plus it's also about the culture. I am a francophone and to this day, many Gatinois are in disbelief that I chose to live in Ontario. An anecdote with regards to taxis to the airport. At the time of the north-south plan, I was living in Vankleek Hill and complained to my MPP that it did not made sense to go on airport property and not stop there. The reply of then MPP (Lalonde since retired) was even if the taxi company is against I agree with you that the train should go to the terminal. Note I did not raise the issue of taxis, he did. Coming from the Mtl area I am actually well aware of the tendency by politicians and business people of way overestimating how much economic development an airport generates. So I do not expect our airport to generate more than Dorval. I live in Orléans/Cumberland and the reason for the highway stops is cost and ease of construction (the city owns the 174). It actually makes sense in that going east-west is always difficult, but even at rush hour, north-south is not an issue. So having the local buses go to the highway stop makes sense it's quick and easy. What I am not happy about is the Cumberland Transitway which is just a scheme to pay for general use road along with the transitway. I was surprised at the sprawl in Ottawa but having read up and spoken to born and raised Ottawans it's clear that when time came to redevelop the old neighbourhoods there was a lot of opposition. So much so that the neighbouring areas told developers: stop wasting your time and come on over, we have plenty of cheap land. The old city of Ottawa was only happy to not touch the old neighbourhoods despite being told by the Federal Gov't of the plans to significantly increase staffing levels. So it's not really a choice, there's not enough housing in the old city to accommodate everyone. And that causes a big headache for transit planning and provision. There is simply not enough demand to justify major interprovincial transit investments. The issue is that like I wrote in my previous comment, by and large Gatinois and Ottawans can get pretty much all they want in their neighbourhood without having to cross the river. And until we have that reason to cross the river outside of work, we cannot justify such investments. What demand there is, and I clearly see there is some, can adequately be covered by buses and eventually by the STO LRT.
  3. I don’t remember when but some time last year the Mayor of Gatineau complained that almost no one from Ottawa came over to shop and get entertained. Which made me realized that Ottawa is organized in such a way that I rarely need to leave my neighbourhood to go shopping. I leave it to go to work ( in the heart of centretown), my numerous medical appointments and visit friends and family. Occasionally for entertainment which has yet to include Gatineau. now that’s just me, but at work seeing that almost all my colleagues put their Presto or Passe-Partout in the same plastic holder as their work pass/badge tells me that they will never be caught dead in the back of a 40ft on a Saturday afternoon. Which is pretty much what OC keeps saying. Which also explains why our transit system is geared towards rush hour service. Because it has to. it’s ok to dream but at some point it’s important to see how that dream matches up with reality. I read this tread and similar on other forums and I keep reading the same things, some would clearly benefit from using the bridge, other seem to think that a transit system is there to offer diversity when they go fanning and taking pictures. But I have yet to see how it fits not only with the transit system but with the urban fabric of our region. Perhaps it’s there and I can’t see it. Or perhaps it would fit as part of a larger project to change both Ottawa and Gatineau. And that’s the reason I keep reading because I hope that someone here has that vision that our civic leaders and I lack. However it’s possible that I can’t see it because it’s not there. As a citizen I am afraid that this could be a bridge too far.
  4. Having used this a lot while living in Mtl I know this is not going to happen without commitments and investment in real estate (commercial and industrial). It’s never a case if “build it and they will come”. There are no such plans at the moment. Also Ottawa as someone once said is not a city but a series of neighbourhoods linked by parks and the green belt. Hence the lack of density which hobbles our transit system. Transit should definitely be a consideration when preparing plans, but by itself it won’t drive demand. now this is where the argument becomes astonishing. in a city where air travel is dominated by the public service and business communities, it’s clear that taking a taxi to the airport will continue even with a convenient way by transit to reach it. Their employer not only pays for the taxi but for their salaries. If I missed a flight because I took transit instead of a taxi there would be hell to pay. i believe you overinflate employment at the airport but also where they would come from. To live in Ottawa without a car is possible but really difficult. Once you have a car the marginal cost of driving to work where parking for employees is cheaper than for customers and not to mention centretown. So it’s quite a stretch to believe that many employees could even consider taking transit to the airport considering where they live. Yet this is all they can afford to build, but even more important to pay to maintain. It’s not only for medical services that the Outaouais is short changed but in provincial government spending overall. It is not contradictory for politicians in Gatineau to continue to demand that the province give them their fair share and yet at the same time recognize that historically they were short changed. It’s not hard to understand why Gatineau cannot afford to touch the PoW and instead would rather rely on a bridge that’s paid for and maintained by the Federal Govt. And that too would be a consideration in Quebec City. I am surprised at this statement. Yes it’s really more expensive to do it bit by bit. It is really cheaper for a construction company to setup once and keep building. That suggestion of building by bits has been suggested many times in Toronto and proven to costs more. Where are the hordes of people travelling back and forth between our two cities? i appreciate your enthusiasm but I guess I am at a stage in my life where I have heard too many stories like the one you propose being used by fiscally conservative politicians to deride transit users as people who uses crayons on a map to build imaginary systems. I want a system that carries people from where they are to where they want to go. The question is what’s in Gatineau that Ottawans want to go that involves the bridge and same question for the Gatinois, where do they want to go in Ottawa? And no it’s not the airport as it’s really a low volume airport.
  5. I used to live in Longueuil on the south shore and go to Vanier College (Métro Côte-Vertu). And I quickly abandoned taking line 2- Orange because as it was reverse commute past Bonaventure, I quickly timed it and realised that it was faster for me to get off there to take the Deux-Montagnes line. While that too was reverse commute, it was way quicker for me to walk from the Metro to Central Station for the train and then a short hop on either the 121 or the 171 from Vertu Station than sticking with the Métro. The problem with the Metro was that they needed to balance the line so they would hold trains at Plamondon or Namur for anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes! I heard about the loop for years and most people who either lived in St-Laurent or studied or worked there wondered why? Many reasons was that there was too much passenger traffic on the 121 (and yes it is really busy). It never made sense to loop the orange line in Laval where there's not enough density, and no one who commuted from St-Laurent towards Henri-Bourassa (as I did from time to time to help my grand-parents in RDP) would go through Laval. Because that's where the loop would be. A tramway should have replaced buses on the 121 to provide capacity. The loop ??? Because of geology (or so claimed the STM) you cannot dig from Côte-Vertu to Henri-Bourassa. So if there's any loop it would have to be in Laval. If anything what the orange line needs and pronto is the pink line. There's way more passengers coming from RDP/P.A.T then when I used to live in the area. These passengers by and large are going downtown and the pink line would be perfect for them and relieving pressure on both the orange and green lines. Even before the metro went to Laval there was a ton of Laval passengers on the orange line and it went up. Then again if not for the REM, it would have made more sense to stop this zonal fare nonsense and shift Laval passengers on both the Deux-Montagnes and St-Jérôme lines. This is a perfect example or why I am generally against zones. It's not even clear that it costs more to run a mainline train than the metro (there's been a lot of studies in Mtl about that for decades and depending on who you ask it's one or the other), but even if it did, it costs less to use existing resources than to build a separate system. With the REM it does make sense to extend the line and offer better connectivity at Bois-Franc. That being said line 4 - yellow also has a tunnel that goes from Berri to a point between St-Laurent and Place des Arts, that is a no brainer that should have been done a long time ago and would resolve a great many problems at Berri.
  6. I am a bit puzzled by these columns by the Citizen. The Prince of Wales bridge is a stranded asset. It doesn’t link to anywhere in Gatineau. That 550 meters to Terrasses is a long way, and most of the employment is in Portage anyway which is further away. The last thing the STO needs is to have hordes of Ottawa passengers on its already full busses going to Portage and Ottawa. Because most of its passengers will still need to bussed to Ottawa the same way most of our passengers from the east and south east will need to bussed there. Theres no scenario where we eliminate busses by using the PoW bridge. And wait there’s more! After 5:00 pm that whole area of Terrasses and Portage is dead! Most restaurants are closed. I went to Boston Pizza on a weekday after 5:00 and it felt weird and creepy to be in that area. So why invest in such expensive to rebuild and maintain infrastructure when busses and LRT can do the job even better and at lower costs? We only need lots of busses a few hours of weekdays, evenings and weekends there’s enough busses to do the job. Portage is such a liability that there’s been public talk by the Federal Government for years to demolish it and let something else be built. Not exactly something that would encourage cash strapped transit systems to invest in heavy infrastructure if a big trip generator might disappear. Speaking of cash strapped systems, it should be obvious to all that the city of Ottawa came to the same conclusion than the city of Gatineau, why pay big bucks to own and maintain both a bridge to no where and run busses as well when there’s a bridge nearby owned and maintained by the feds that will do nicely. I believe that’s the story of what’s happening with the PoW bridge. Gatineau’s plan to route its LRT over Portage Bridge makes a lot of sense and brings its passengers much closer to where they need to go. We shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that because once upon a time it served some purpose that it can do the same thing again. Gatineau and Ottawa are radically different than when the bridge was built and there’s a multiplicity of reasons why it got abandoned and stranded. Let’s not sink precious transit dollars on a bridge to nowhere
  7. I wished I had been wrong back in November but here we are April. What a mess. The nice thing though is that at this point a May opening means that university is done and that is nice as the train will once again be the campus shuttle between Campus and Lees. Better to open in good weather with fewer passengers to better be able to figure out any issues that comes up.
  8. Thanks Shane for the FEDCO report and the video. They are further along than I thought reading from various reports. This is encouraging and March is certainly doable and like others see that as more of a deadline than a target. While we won’t know for sure till RTG reports, am sure the city has performed its own evaluation for Mayor Watson to tweet end of March. By March the system should be up and running.
  9. As I used to live on the south shore, transferring from line 4 to line 2 all the way to the top was not fun at Berri-de Montigny! I was glad when I started going to McGill Station which I like as it is airy and large and well connected to the underground city. Lionel-Groulx is also a great station for its design and the convenience in transferring from one line to the other.
  10. Me too I was hoping for earlier and thanks Shane for your great work posting pictures and FEDCO reports. I have been in Ottawa too long I believe for the way I read the Mayor's reply is that we will have a date by the end of March... not that it will open by then. But I think that is too pessimistic. At some point they cannot be that incompetent. From the the pictures and various reports from commenters, March sounds reasonable.
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