Group counts buses to show Scott Street isn't best route for Transitway buses during LRT construction

Members of the Albert/Scott Thrown Under the Bus Working Group gathered at the Lebreton Transitway Station Wednesday morning to count buses and the number of transfers.

It's part of a bid to convince the city that there are alternatives to its plan to divert 2,500 buses per day along Scott Street during LRT construction.

Clip boards in hand, members of the group ticked off each bus that rolls by and passengers that disembark and transfer.

"Eight off of the 97," Alex Graham told her partner Maurice, who marked down the latest statistics.

Members were trying to show that if people get out and into the cold to transfer at Lebreton, they could do it somewhere else too.

"OC Transpo and Mayor Watson have said that if people have to transfer buses, they won't. They'll get off the bus and they'll drive," said Cheryl Parrott, one of the members of the working group. "So we're out here because we think it's a myth, and clearly, when you look at what's happening at Lebreton Station, people are transferring. They've been doing it, some of them for 30 years."

According to their data, 250-300 buses go through Lebreton station every hour and at least six to eight people from every bus transfer.

Parrott said the city could opt to reduce the number of buses on Scott by creating similar transfer areas at stops like Lincoln Fields of Kent Street.

Opponents of the city's plan for Scott say it will lead to traffic jams, noise and more pollution along their street.

"I'd like to ask Mayor Watson how he can justify putting all these buses down our street," said Graham. "In 2008 when he was talking about Kettle Island, he said 'you don't hurt one community to help another.' Well I'd like to ask him if he thinks this is hurting us or helping us? You've seen how many buses are going through here. Those are all going to be going by our houses."

Somerset Ward Councillor Diane Holmes was at Lebreton Flats as members of the working group counted buses and said this also serves to help them determine exactly how many buses will be rolling through Scott and Albert.

"Our suspicion is that there are more buses than the general thesis is and we want to make sure we know how many buses are going to be traveling on Albert Street right beside people's bedrooms," she told CFRA.

"There are an enormous amount of buses and it's going to make it very difficult for people who live on Albert Street," said Holmes. "The air quality is going to be really a problem."

The group plans to present their findings to the city.

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