Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The O-Train

Today I had to go to Wal*Mart to purchase some items for the new apartment. For those nosey readers, here is a list of what I bought:

> Shower curtain liner [Its magnetic!] and hooks
> Strainer
> Measuring cup
> Dish soap and scrubby brush thing
> Cheese grater
> Brita jug [Holds 10 cups of water! Ooo!]
> Umbrella [Because I know I'll be walking to school in the rain at some point, and its the longest walk I've had to school in 3 years]
> Probably something else... you don't expect me to remember it all, do you?

Anyway, like I said, I was off to Wal*Mart. Now, seeing that I live right downtown... as downtown as you can get... I am far from Wal*Mart. All of them, in fact! The one at South Keys is 'closest' [Actually, the NEW! one near the VIA Rail station is closest, but who the hell knows how to get there!?]. So I planned my trip to South Keys. A normal person would take the 87 Bus right from the stop near my house, and get off right at the Wal*Mart at South Keys. I am not a normal person, however. I decided that I had a whole afternoon to kill, and boy did I ever kill it.

I walked to that same stop, close to my house, and I got on the 86 Bus, going in the complete opposite direction of South Keys. I sat in the very back corner seat, assuming that no one would sit beside me, because people generally don't fill the 5 back seats [It usually goes SEAT SPACE SEAT SPACE SEAT]. As the bus traveled down Albert St., it started to fill, which was very odd in my mind for Wednesday at 2:30 in the afternoon. It got more and more full, and some guy sat beside me, completely trapping me in the back corner of the bus. My stop was just a few past this, which was annoying. When we got to Bayview, I had to make him move which meant he had to make someone else move and then I had to shuffle through like 10 other people to get to the door and then I was basically shoved off the bus. I hate the bus.

I was off the 86 and happier already. I walked down the curving path to the O-Train platform, and I waited. It was just the second time I've ever taken the train [The first being in April with Branden].

[Me being an idiot with a gummy bear on The O-Train, April 2007.]






I got on the train, and other than having the sun blasting into my eyes, it was a beautiful ride. The train was not too full [Although it had good ridership] and the mood is very calm and relaxing. The only beef I had with the train is that the British [For some reason] automated voice was saying the wrong upcoming stop names. I would love to know why they are stupid enough to let this continue! Regardless, I got to South Keys, did my shopping, and then O-Trained back to Bayview. This was my biggest mistake. I should have passed on the luxury of the O-Train and just taken the 87 Bus. But no, I took the Train.

At Bayview, I caught the first bus that came along: The 95 Trim *horror music plays ... women and children shriek*. I forced my way onto the back of the bus, and there I stood for 20 minutes, crammed up against every person in Ottawa. I remind you that I had two shopping bags; one of which contained a pointy Brita box that was stabbing into my shin. This was by far the fullest I've ever seen a bus in Ottawa or any city, and it makes me livid that the city is still not doing anything about it.

Built in 1983, The Transitway is Ottawa's solution to public transportation. It is fast, reliable, and it can get you from Orleans to Kanata on just one bus. The buses come often. Too often in fact. It seems that Ottawa's solution to ever-increasing transit passengers is to throw more and more buses onto the Transitway. It sounds good in theory, but it is a brutal nuisance in the 10-20 city blocks that it travels through downtown. There will soon be more buses than cars in Ottawa, and it is starting to drive people insane. There have been plans to create an East-West O-Train line that would run through the downtown core, but they were canceled. Luckily, the development company has decided to sue the lovely city of Ottawa for tons of money for canceling the deal, which has lead the city to alter the route slightly and reopen talks of the new route.

I like this idea very much, but its about damn time they actually go through with it! There isn't space in Ottawa for one more frigging bus, and they can get rid of all the crappy old ones by throwing a couple trains downtown. All they need is one track [Two in a few key spots] so it will only take up a little bit of space [Or a tunnel in some cases].

[Photo stolen from johnnytrapper.com]

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