'So far, so good' as LRT logs 1st morning commute

'So far, so good' as LRT logs 1st morning commute

Ottawa commuters reported a relatively smooth ride on the city's new light rail system Monday morning, though some who used to take a single bus to work weren't keen on all the transfers.

"So far, so good," said one passenger filing out ot Tunney's Pasture station Monday, while others smiled and gave thumbs-up.

But not everyone was so enthused.

"I like the old way," said John Prescod, who had to transfer onto a bus at Tunney's Pasture to reach his final destination.

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Previously, he took a single bus across town. Now his commute involves a lot of stairs and escalators, and he had to stop at least twice to ask a red-vested LRT ambassador, "Where am I?"

Prescod said he's seriously considering driving to work.

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Nathalie Chouinard also used to take one bus to get to work, but she doesn't think the addition of LRT to her route will slow her down because of the speed of the train.

"I think eventually it will be good," Chouinard said. "But for some people for sure, it causes a lot of transfers, and I can understand why some people aren't happy."

Tammy Prosper decided not to take a chance as her Orléans bus pulled into Blair station this morning.

"A lot of people did get off at Blair, but then I also saw a lot of trains that were crowded, so I thought, nope, not doing it," Prosper said.

She said she's sticking with the parallell bus system that's running until Oct. 6, when the system undergoes a drastic route change — at least until she's sure the kinks have been worked out of the LRT.

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However, a number of passengers said they were thrilled to finally take the train to work.

Jason Friedman, who works at Holland Cross, near Tunney's Pasture, said it was a long time coming.

"I got my job here thinking, oh, I'd be riding it last year, so I'm very pleased about it."

Kate Beshiri, 13, said she loves riding trains, and couldn't wait to take the LRT from Tunney's Pasture to Blair station, a bus ride that used to take 45 minutes.

"Wow," she said, looking at her watch when she arrived. The ride had taken just 20 minutes.