Friday, May 14, 2010

OC Transpo

For those of you who don't live in Ottawa, OC Transpo is the city bus company in Ottawa. Their (unofficial) motto seems to be "Buy a car".

Anyone who has ever taken the bus here has stories. Things like:
- the bus breaking down, so the passengers being left at the side of the road to wait for the next bus
- buses being early (and the next bus being late)
- the bus driver seeing someone running for the bus, stopping, then pulling away when the passenger stops to walk the last few feet to the bus door
- bus drivers being annoyed when someone asks them which direction they're going. (It's not always obvious - at the major bus stations, buses for both directions can stop in the same area.)
- bus drivers not calling out the stops - despite several court cases, the drivers rarely announce what stop they are at.
- drivers going through red lights

Don't get me wrong, there are good bus drivers out there - people who are cheerful and helpful, people who recognize the regulars and stop to wait for them. They might even be the majority, but enough of them have an unpleasant attitude to ruin the reputation of them all.

Girl Guides of Canada is 100 year old this year, and tomorrow there is a big rally at Parliament Hill. My group is taking the city bus downtown to attend, so I needed to buy bus tickets.

I usually try to have 4 bus tickets on hand (which is enough to get me two rides on the bus), but the tickets seem to expire constantly. This week I found 6 expired bus tickets.

OC Transpo will exchange those tickets - if you go to one of their 3 offices. These are also the places you go if you need to have your picture taken for your bus pass. The one in the West End is at Lincoln Fields, so after work I headed over there.

Naturally, these offices are accessible by bus. The one at Lincoln Fields isn't really accessible by car, though. There is no parking anywhere near it. I ended up parking in the parking lot for the Lincoln Fields mall (which isn't technically allowed, but my options were limited).

Why do they not have the office at a bus station that has a park & ride? Well, you see, if we make it easier for people to take the bus, people might actual start to take the bus.

I don't really understand it.

Back when I worked at a former job, there was a store on site. This was back in the tech boom, when people were changing jobs often. When someone would leave, we'd get a goodbye card and go out for lunch.

You would think that the store would be a good place to get goodbye cards, but it didn't carry them.


Because they sold out too fast.

Like OC Transpo, they kind of missed the point.

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