Column: Rural transit improvements

October 17, 2011


This week, the City of Ottawa’s Transit Commission will receive a report with three staff recommendations that will improve transit in the rural areas.  If approved, the rural areas of Ottawa will see a flat rate for Para Transpo, increased service provided through rural transportation services such as Rural Ottawa South Support Services (ROSSS) and Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre (WOCRC), and will add four more seniors’ shoppers buses to Carp, Richmond, Osgoode, and Navan.

By streamlining its approach to fare zones and recommending that the Para Transpo rural fare zones be combined into one single rural fare, the new single rural fare will establish parity at a cost to be decided by Council in the 2012 Budget.  This means that residents in the greater rural area that currently pay over $18 per trip will likely see a 50% reduction in cost.

To further enhance service delivery in the rural areas, OC Transpo also recommends working with established rural service delivery agencies. These partnerships would help increase mobility for seniors and people with disabilities in rural areas, and improve the effectiveness of the City’s funding for mobility in rural areas.  In Rideau-Goulbourn, as mentioned, these agencies are ROSSS and WOCRC.

OC Transpo is also recommending piloting the introduction of four new once-a-week bus trips from rural villages to shopping destinations in the urban part of the city. This would be in addition to the existing once-a-week Friday round trip from North Gower, Kars and Manotick to Barrhaven and Carlingwood.

This new service would be funded from within the existing rural transit tax and will not impact the urban transit service. It is offered to seniors and Para Transpo registrants, as well as to the general public living in Ottawa rural areas.

Of the four new rural transit trips, in addition to the North Gower shoppers bus, an additional bus will be added to Richmond on Mondays that will bring riders from the village into Bayshore and Carlingwood.  This is a service that will be available to all residents at a cost of $3.25 each way.  This service will begin in January and I encourage all residents to think about utilizing this new weekly transit option.

We all pay the rural Para Transpo tax and these changes do not impact your current tax rate.  We are merely reallocating the current funds to better serve our rural communities.  This truly is a win-win for all rural residents across Ottawa.

Manotick Legion Tea & Bazaar - October 22
Come out to the Manotick Legion on Saturday, October 22 from 10-4pm and enjoy a great bazaar. Beautiful knitting, dressed dolls and teddy bears by the Turtle Knitters will be featured as well as Legion Tables for Baked Goods & Preserves; Books; Antiques, Valuables & Attic Treasures; Toys; Clothing, Jewellery & Accessories; and White Elephant Odds & Ends.  Other tables will include Bird Houses; Bee Healthy Products; and Christmas Ornaments.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact me at 613-580-2491 or by email at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca. You can also like our page on Facebook and follow me on Twitter for more information about what's going on in the Ward.