In the south section of River Ward one issue is the problem with traffic congestion on the Hunt Club Road. The main sources of these problems are traffic going east and west on Hunt Club Road, as well as traffic turning to/from from Bank, Riverside and Prince of Wales Drive.
If you look at an OC Transpo map you will also see that there are no buses that operate on a west-east-west direction on Hunt Club Road.
Hmm.... no reliable public transit for workers, so they MUST use cars to get around in the south end of town. Another consequence of directing our transit services THROUGH Downtown Ottawa on the assumption that everyone works there. Of course most of the work force is distributed throughout the Ottawa area.
So in the short term, I would propose that the City implement a bus service that operates on the entire length of Hunt Club.
However, there is a problem with this. The road is choked with traffic, so unless a bus lane is implemented, the buses would also get stuck in traffic. If a bus lane is implemented then there is even less road capacity.
But if you look at the following map, one will see that to the north, there are east-west rail lines that are available for transit use. Buses could feed into commuter/light rail trains along this corridor and this would give those workers an alternate to driving a car.
These east-west rail lines also go very close to many of these industrial parks (colored in Purple) where people work. And many of these employment centres were built on either side of the rail tracks. A quick solution would be to purchase commuter/light rail trains similar to the O-Train that operates so successfully on the North-South O-Train Line. Remember that the O-Train has run on the east-west rail lines for special occasions. Take note that if the O-Train were extended a short distance south to at least Letrim Road it would be able to offer transit services to the Business Parks that are located in that area.
R. Hoather of VIA Rail has already stated that they would be quite willing to share their tracks with Ottawa for Commuter rail purposes, so this is not an obstacle either.
Here are a few images of the O-Train during its special trip to Carp in September of 2004:
Along Carling Avenue Near Bayfield.
O-Train in Carp Village.
Here are two images of the O-Train in Barrhaven in 2004:
And click on the following link to see a YouTube video about the O-Train parked on the east-west Line at the VIA station in Barrhaven for the 2004 Light Rail Funding Announcement..
Take note in this video that they were talking about "extending" the O-Train system, not replacing it with another type of system.
Using diesel Light Rail Technology is a low cost solution to the particular transportation problem that occurs along Hunt Club Road and it can be done with limited funding and be put into service in a relatively short period of time. In time, the line could gradually be converted to electricity if it was deemed necessary.
For example: On its trip to Carp in September of 2004,
the current O-Train was observed doing 100 kph on
the Beachburg Sub, which faster than it travels
on its existing North-South route.
AND, that that was on jointed rail as opposed to the superior welded rail that is used on the North-South O-Train Line. .
In June of 2003 the cost to replace the O-Train's route's jointed rail with welded rail was only about $250,000 per kilometre.
It also only took three WEEKS to replace
the entire 8 kilomters of rail.
AND, the entire O-Train project only cost about $4 million per km., INCLUDING the cost of the trains.
Compared this cost to that of our Busways, which have cost an average of $15 million per kilometre, NOT including the buses.
AND, setting up the entire O-Train project, took less than a year: from October. 26, 2000 to October 15, 2001.
New extensions of the O-Train, on existing track, would take far less time, due to the big learning curve The City of Ottawa has already gone through.
AND, the O-Train costs 1/3 the fuel, and 1/3 the labour, to move the same number of passengers as a bus.
Let me clarify this last statement since it is very important to understand the cost efficiency of rail versus bus.
Both engines (* combined) in an O-Train consume about 650 litres of fuel per day. Ottawa's O-Train has two engines: one in the front car and one in the rear car.
The single engine in an articulated bus consumes about 650 litres per day, which is the same daily consumption as the O-Train.
BUT, the O-Train can carry 285 people: i.e. 135 seated and 150 standees.
An articulated bus has 54 seats, and room for 40 or so standees, so it has about a 95 persons capacity.
And of course we have one bus driver moving 95 people, versus one O-Train driver moving 285 people, or three times
as many passengers.
So, a light rail vehicle that is a designed like our Current O-Train will consume one third the fuel and use one third the labour, to move people the same number of people that can be carried by a typical articulated bus as is currently in use by **OC Transpo.
I believe that using the O-Train or similar rail technologies on our existing east-west rail lines is a practical and cost effective solution to a Transportation and Transit problems on Hunt Club Road that is only going to get worse. I also have a Bus solution to the North-South traffic on Prince of Wales that will only add more traffic to Hunt Club when it is widened to 4 lanes. This is explained on a different section of my web site.
Michael Kostiuk. Candidate for Ottawa Council, River Ward.
** There are larger capacity and longer articulated buses available, but they are not being used in ottawa.
You can contact Michael Kostiuk using the following methods:
Last Update: July 18, 2014.