Public transportation in the Pontiac, 1928-2007

Picked up a schedule for our often-maligned and frequently threatened commuter bus service — now that I’m working in Ottawa again, it’s good to do a little homework, especially since the car’s been acting up lately and my commuting partner is on holidays this week.

I also happen to have a copy of the CPR’s passenger train schedule for the line that used to run through this region — from the summer of 1928. I thought it would be interesting to compare the two schedules. Here is the weekday afternoon bus of today compared with CPR Train #543 of 1928, which was also a weekday-only service:

*Measured from Rideau Centre, the stop closest to the now-former train station.
Bus, 2007 Train, 1928
Ottawa 3:45 PM* 3:40 PM
Quyon 5:05 PM 4:55 PM
Shawville 5:20 PM 5:29 PM
Campbell’s Bay 5:40 PM 5:47 PM
Fort Coulonge 5:45 PM 6:25 PM
Waltham 6:05 PM 6:55 PM
Total duration: 2:20 3:15

It’s interesting that the 1928 train and 2007 bus leave within five minutes of one another (at least from my arbitrary start point; the bus starts from the station at 3:30 PM). The 1928 train is faster through the city, as you might expect from a train (especially one in a conurbation that was then much smaller), but steadily loses time versus the 2007 bus (which has the reputation of being driven by a maniac).