By Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen
The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group has met the ambitious targets it set to encourage people to take transit or shuttle buses to Ottawa RedBlacks games during the football team’s inaugural season at the redeveloped Lansdowne Park.
OSEG devised a transportation scheme that envisioned 36 per cent of ticket holders would arrive by shuttle after parking at nearby lots, while another 20 per cent would take OC Transpo buses. Cycling and walking were also strongly encouraged over driving in an effort to prevent clogged streets in the Glebe.
The plan, revisited Monday at the city’s transportation committee, appears to have worked, with an average of 55 per cent of ticket holders arriving by shuttle or conventional transit buses.
“People have bought in, people have embraced this,” OSEG CEO Bernie Ashe told the committee.
In fact, significantly more people chose conventional transit — sometimes as high as 41 per cent — while fewer than expected opted for the shuttles, which significantly reduced the number of trips from a high of 186 on opening day to 81 on the night of the RedBlacks’ final home game.
Given this development, OSEG’s transportation manager Hasan Madhoun recommended to the committee on Monday that the total number of off-site parking spaces on game nights be reduced from 4,200 to 2,000, which is still higher than the average number of spaces used last year.
OSEG has not yet said which off-site lots it will use this season.