The number of Outaouais transit buses that were too full to stop to pick up more passengers has jumped dramatically in the last two years, leaving many riders frustrated.
According to ridership data between Aug. 28, 2017 and Oct. 4, 2017 obtained by Radio-Canada, the number of Société de transport de l'Outaouais buses that reached maximum boarding capacity rose 58 per cent compared to the same period two years ago.
In 2015, there were 721 full buses between August 31 and October 7.
In 2016, buses reached capacity 833 times between August 28 and October 4.
And in 2017, the total number of times buses filled up was 1,139.
Of all the bus routes, Rte. 200 saw the greatest increase in the number of times it reached maximum boarding capacity; this year, 201 buses on that route reached maximum capacity, while in 2016 the number was 86. That's an increase of 134 per cent in one year.
The other bus lines that filled up most often this year were:
- Route 59: 157 full buses (218 in 2016).
- Route 100: 80 full buses (34 in 2016).
- Route 24: 78 full buses (27 in 2016).
- Route 49: 71 full buses (66 in 2016).
According to the data, the Terrasses Chaudières bus stop was the worst for reaching maximum capacity.
STO spokesperson Céline Gauthier said the company is trying to find solutions.
"We can replace a regular bus with an articulated buses, which offer more capacity on board," she said. "Or we can see if it's possible to add a trip or increase the frequency of the bus."
But without a cash infusion from all levels of government, Gauthier said the STO will not be able to purchase enough new buses to adequately deal with the issue.