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Transit Troubles Top Concern as Ottawa Prepares to Table Budget

"The City of Ottawa tables its 2020 spending plans on Wednesday, and no part of the budget is expected to face as much scrutiny or pressure as the money directed at the beleaguered transit system.

Faced with angry riders whose commutes have gotten worse since the arrival of LRT, Mayor Jim Watson and transit commission chair Allan Hubley suddenly announced Friday that 40 more OC Transpo buses would go back on the road this week.

The buses will be assigned to busy routes having capacity problems, including the 39 in Orléans and 75 in the south — areas formerly traveled by the workhorse No. 95 bus — and the 257 to Kanata.

The mayor said he directed transportation manager John Manconi to use $3.5 million from the 2019 reserves to pay for the extra bus service, but it is unclear whether the changes were intended for the 2020 budget and were simply sped up for November and December."


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