Photo: Rame Abdulkader/Fulcrum
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Dozens of routes were affected on Oct. 6 with OC Transpo’s #ReallyBigServiceChange

The completion of Ottawa’s LRT system and the changes to bus routes it brought with it has been helping some University of Ottawa students while causing major headaches for others.

On Oct. 6, OC Transpo altered the routes of dozens of bus routes across the city with the implementation of the #ReallyBigServiceChange, including the old 85, 95, 16 and 19, which used to run down King Edward Avenue. 

Maiia Petryshyna says she used to take the 85 from her house straight to her classes in the Minto Sports Complex. While walking from the train station isn’t currently an issue, Petryshyna says she’s concerned when the weather gets colder. 

“In general, it’s worked pretty well, I haven’t had that many problems,” she said. “Even the buses haven’t been super late, but maybe that will change in the winter.” 

Jennifer Zubkavich says she’s not sure how Ottawa’s winter will affect the bus connections and LRT line, but so far her commute to campus has become a lot shorter and faster. 

“All the buses that go from my residence to Rideau station connect really well with the LRT,” she said. “The LRT has been super convenient to come into campus for me instead of walking 20-25 minutes to just arrive at Tabaret Hall.” 

Zubkavich, a translation student, says as a slow walker, her commute is cut shorter by 10 minutes. She says the new LRT has been helpful in accessing other areas of the city as well. 

“Having the LRT is a lot easier to get to the train station to go home for reading week and for coming back because it’s a direct connection,” she added. “Even just going to the movie theatre or downtown.”

Reaction to the #ReallyBigServiceChange has been mixed since the excitement over the new LRT opened in mid-September. The cancellation and alternation of bus services going downtown can mean tightly packed trains during rush hour. 

Delays due to technical issues and commuters holding doors on the LRT line has been causing problems for some. For others, a highlight of the new line has been the accessibility and smoother commute for commuters with physical disabilities.

And for some, it means a more environmentally friendly way of getting to campus.