Comment 121014

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted March 27, 2017 at 08:43:41

If a population as completely car centric as the residents of Gatineau, Quebec with a city population of 325,000 (274,000 in the transit service zone) can support BRT (their Rapibus System, similar to Ottawa's Transitways) and now the real possibility of LRT line extensions from Ottawa, including one LRT line completely based in Gatineau, then population of Hamilton can embrace LRT as well.

Remember, there is no GO Transit like, regional/interprovincial commuter train and bus system there. In terms of transit all they have is the STO (Societe de transport de l'Outaouais) or their car, although some O.C. Transpo routes do go to Gatineau and free transfers between the 2 bus systems are allowed in most cases (takes too long to explain the whole inter-provincial transit system and current conditions).

What is kind of embarrassing is how much they learned from the mistakes made by Ottawa's Transitway Network. They have a much grander and robust connection between cycling and transit, more than just having the cycling paths connect to their Rapibus Stations as Ottawa did with the Transitway Stations. With pathetic and cheap covered bike racks thrown up beside Transitway stations with no thought of location or usefulness. The STO built indoor bike storage or heavily protected partially heated bike storage/shelters at other Rapibus stations. Really, really good intuitive signage on the 2 lane bike path that mirrors the Rapibus Line (no french translation required). Even one station has bathrooms/shower facilities for cyclists as a pilot project (you pay/rent the shower stall space and there are no towels).

Just 16 years ago the then mayor of the City of Hull (pre 2003 amalgamation of the many Outaouais region communities into the City of Gatineau) swore he would be long dead and berried before the first Rapid Transit line would ever be allowed or financed on his side of the Ottawa/Outaouais River, bus or train (yes, he is still very much alive). The Rapibus BRT line opened in 2013. Serious planning has begun on extending the Trillium Line (Diesel LRT) across the Ottawa river, at least as far as the Tache Blvd. Rapibus Station, as part of "Stage 3" LRT design and planning activity here in Ottawa. Federal funding/support is also very high for an Electric LRT line in Gatineau to the Alymer Sector and conversion of part of the existing Rapibus to LRT in the Old City sector of Gatineau. If the official powers in Gatineau can get this excited about LRT when it was so completely negative before then, Hamilton can as well.

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