On Sept. 19, 2021, Ottawa’s O-Train derailed on the Confederation Line after the Tremblay Station when a set of wheels came off the track.
According to CTV News Ottawa,13 passengers were on board and nobody was injured. It is the second derailment of an O-Train on the Confederation Line since Aug. 8, 2021. CTV News reported on Aug. 8, 2021, that another train derailed near the Tunney’s Pasture station after a wheel came loose from its axel on a switch near Tunney’s Pasture.
With the train expected to be down for a minimum of three weeks, the city has deployed replacement buses to run in the train’s place. However, when the replacement buses started running, the buses had as long as 30-minute waits between buses and were packed to the door. And although the city has remedied the wait times partially, many riders have become increasingly frustrated with the city’s response to the O-Train in the past month.
In a statement, OC Transpo said “Improvements are being made each day to the replacement bus service to better meet customers’ travel requirements.” Those improvements include direct buses from Blair to downtown, additional trips operating from Tunney’s Pasture to downtown in the morning peak period and from downtown to Tunney’s Pasture Station in the afternoon peak period. Cancelled trips on other routes will help increase the frequency of the replacement buses.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, Mayor of Ottawa Jim Watson has proposed that OC Transpo services become free for the month of December to apologize for the many issues of the O-Train, and only time will tell if that comes to fruition. However, after two years, this 2.1-billion-dollar system has one thing going for it; comfort. Algonquin Students who have taken the O-Train say it is a very nice ride and is comfortable and very spacious.
“When it’s running, it’s been good.” said baking and pastry arts management student Aidan Calder. “There are certain points where it shakes a little bit, but the seats are comfortable and there is a lot of space I find, so it doesn’t feel too crowded.”
“I’ve taken the O-Train a fair number of times, but I’ve never experienced any of the troubles with it,” said former environmental studies student Anna Bramble. “I know they’re going on, and I would like a better-functioning train, but overall, my experience wasn’t awful. It smells a bit weird and it’s loud but it’s alright.”
For the next three weeks at minimum, riders will have to deal with the replacement buses.