Portman: Ottawa's LRT reflects a total lack of transit vision

By Jamie Portman, Ottawa Citizen, August 9, 2019

Back when I was living in Calgary, I was able to step out of my downtown apartment, board a train just minutes from the front door, and ride to work — for free.

From the beginning, and it’s still true today, Calgary’s light rail system has maintained a ride-free zone in its downtown corridor — an idea that would no doubt horrify Ottawa’s unimaginative city guardians, apart perhaps from freshman Coun. Shawn Menard, who has mused publicly about free bus travel along Bank Street.

But let’s face it: Innovation, common sense and credibility are little in evidence when it comes to our lumbering entry into the world of light rail. It’s become an embarrassment even before those malfunctioning trains get the chance to transport real passengers through an unnecessary downtown tunnel with problems of water leakage.


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