Riding in style: massive upgrade to Pontiac bus route

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Kate Aley

It's smooth and it's quiet with internet access, a 36" flat screen TV and reclining seats and it leaves Allumette Island at 10 minutes to 5 am every day. This is the new coach that runs Route 148 and you can be on it. This week, riders taking the Campeau Bus Line to the city were treated to a brand-new luxury coach, a demonstration vehicle in service before the permanent vehicle becomes available in about a weeks time.

Smaller but more comfortable, the new coach is a nimble 48 feet long, compared to the previous one at 66'.

The new vehicle, known as a Crystal Coach Bus, carries 30 passengers compared to the previous 60-person capacity. Plush seating features safety belts, fold-down arm rests and a reclining feature. The permanent coach will also offer a washroom in the back. Air suspension, improved heating and wireless internet will make the long drive more comfortable and efficient.

Nice warm safe and comfortable seats!

Subtle green strip lighting overhead allows passengers to board safely while not disturbing those already aboard.

Security strip lighting in the ceiling

Four small TV screens augment a swing-down 36" screen in the front of the bus. A deal with Videotron means a new release movie is shown every evening on the return trip. Each seats features a USB port and an overhead reading light.

Fold-down TVs along the length of the coach

The bus stops at multiple points along the 148, depositing passengers at three points in Gatineau and four in Ottawa. The timetable is available at transcollines.ca. Tickets can be purchased on board from the driver Garry Belair (cash only at this time; change available) and do not need to be booked in advance. Belair says he waits at every pre-arranged stop for about two minutes, as a courtesy to passengers running late.

Simple and effective, a Transcollines paper ticket

Tickets can be purchased as one-way or return, with weekly and monthly passes available. Belair refers to meeting his twenty regular riders every evening as a "family reunion". "We are quiet on the way to town but on the way back, we're joking around," he said. "They can order pizzas that I have delivered to the bus and keep warm in [insulated] bags for them."

Belair lives in Quyon, leaving home each day at 3 am to get to his first stop by 5 am. He describes driving the bus as "a joy". "The people are happy," he said. "It's not a driver/customer relationship, it feels like family."

Driver Garry Belair.

Belair credits Campeau Bus Lines and Transcollines for recognizing how important reliable, affordable transport is to the Pontiac. "They see the worth in looking after their customers," he said. "There is a real need for this service in this region."

The 'moonlight dome' gives an unprecedented view of the road and the sky. A passenger seat next to the driver is a welcome addition for people suffering from motion sickness.

Further updates and improvements are planned for the 148 service. Stay tuned.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Quebec’s anticorruption unit investigating contracts between school board and construction company

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Western Quebec School Board Director of Buildings and Transportation Colin O’Shea has been placed on “administrative leave” with pay, as Quebec’s Permanent Anticorruption Unit (UPAC) investigates a link between the school board and 31 contracts worth $33 million awarded to GMR Construction and Toitures Marcel Raymond over the past 10 years. The majority of these contracts were signed by O’Shea himself.

Collision entre un train et un autobus: six morts

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Une violente collision entre un train de VIA Rail et un autobus à deux étages d'OC Transpo a fait au moins six morts et une trentaine de blessés, mercredi matin à Ottawa, en pleine heure de pointe.

L'accident est survenu à un passage à niveau, à la hauteur de l'avenue Woodroffe et du chemin Fallowfield, non loin de la station de transport en commun du même nom, vers 8h50, dans le secteur Barrhaven.

Via Rail train, Ottawa city bus crash leaves 6 dead

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A crash between a Via Rail train and a double-decker transit bus in Ottawa has resulted in six deaths, including the bus driver, and left 30 injured.

The OC Transpo bus Route 76, destined for downtown Ottawa, was travelling north on the Transitway when it collided with Train 51, which came from Montreal and was heading west to Toronto.

Ancient landslides offer clues to powerful earthquake that rattled Ottawa

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Very close to 1000 AD, an earthquake estimated at a magnitude of 6.1 — or possibly stronger — shook this region enough to cause 10 major landslides.

One of them, at Quyon, covered an area of 31 square kilometres stretching back from the Ottawa River along the Quyon River valley.

And scientist Gregory Brooks, who studied the slides, says the same seismic conditions are present today.

That means a big earthquake like the one Brooks studies, though very rare, could happen again.

Les citoyens du secteur d'Aylmer débattent

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«Il faut intégrer tous les modes de transport dans le secteur d'Aylmer. On a besoin dun plan de déplacement et aussi créer un comité permanent sur le transport à la Ville. Avec ça, on pourra mieux préparer et structurer les idées pour les mettre en oeuvre», a indiqué M. Powles.

Pour ce qui touche au développement résidentiel, les participants étaient nombreux à faire mention de l'aspect patrimonial. Le secteur d'Aylmer est le seul à avoir conservé un «bon état de son passé».

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