Jun 16, 2007

$17.5 billion transit plan - seniors to get a free ride

What has the title of this post have in common with each other? Nothing. “The $17.5 billion transit plan” is Dalton McGuinty’s fantasy election bribe and seniors get a free ride is a fact. There will be enough said and written by other people about the Liberal’s transit carrot. You can start with the well informed David Harrison with his post. I have been around long enough to know that Dalton McGuinty transit plan is motivated wholly by self interest.

The good news about the seniors is that Ottawa bus riders over age 65 won't have to pay to use the service on Wednesdays during July and August.

Alain Mercier, OC Transpo's director of transit, said the city's public transit company is trying to get more people to use buses, and convince seniors that they're safer and more comfortable than they might think.

"So the best way of doing that … was essentially taking the summer, where it's a nice environment outside, where our ridership is a little bit lower, and saying, 'Let's open the system to all seniors,'" Mercier told CBC on Tuesday evening at OC Transpo's first public open house at city hall.

Accessible transit specialist Kathy Riley said OC Transpo is also trying to address seniors' concerns about buses that lurch forward suddenly from a stop.

"Some of the seniors are fearful of taking the bus … because they don't want to fall," she said.

The drivers will be asked to ensure all seniors are seated before putting the bus in motion.

Reported by the CBC.

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