Bank St O-Train “keeps coming up”

“Watson basically screwed the downtown” Bernie Geiger former Director at Treasury Board of Canada

Clinton Desveaux
4 min readFeb 2, 2021

By Clinton P. Desveaux

Photo Wikimedia Commons

Bernie Geiger has travelled extensively throughout Europe and tends to use rail transit, and he’s “not surprised it keeps coming up” the Ottawa Bank Street O-Train concept is “a north south route which is one reason why it keeps coming up.”

Bernie Geiger former Director at Treasury Board of Canada

Phase 1 for the Ottawa Bank Street O-Train Tunnel Concept would run from Parliament Station to Billings Bridge Shopping Centre. Assuming the Ottawa Gatineau Rail Loop moves forward, the Bank Street O-Train would also provide a connection point to Gatineau. When asked why the Bank Street rail corridor has been part of the public discussion since the 1970’s Bernie mentions “the issue with Ottawa Bank Street O-Train discussion is that Bank is more visible, everybody has driven down at least part of Bank Street”

Map created by Antoine Sauve

Geiger begins to unleash anger in his voice in the form of sarcasm, “since Watson has become Mayor, he’s covered EVERYBODY from Cumberland to Stittsville” I can tell Geiger is just getting warmed up, he points out something else he doesn’t like about Mayor Jim Watson, “he set-up the committee structures; Watson basically screwed the downtown City Councillors. And he gave the transit committee to a guy who never used transit.”

“He gave everybody outside of the greenbelt the important positions, and there needs to be a balance, you have to give to everybody - so who will be next? Is it Bank Street or Montreal Road or Carling Avenue?”

When asked to explain why the Bank Street issue keeps coming up, Bernie says “I agree with advocates for Bank Street O-Train in that there is some sense to it; since the 1970s they looked at Bank Street. The idea has always been rejected though by city hall.”

Map created by Antoine Sauve

When asked for comment on the Ottawa Gatineau Rail Loop and the potential connection to Parliament Station and how it could connect to the Ottawa Bank Street O-Train Tunnel, Bernie says “the Ottawa Gatineau Rail Loop is like East and West Berlin, everyone is waiting for the Feds to connect the two rail transit systems together.” He also points out that he’s “pleased and surprised it has gotten as far as it has. People don’t usually move fast, and this loop has moved quickly in the public discussion.”

Clinton Desveaux is an accredited writer for Troy Media he can be reached at

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Clinton Desveaux

Left Handed Guitar, Photographer and Talk Jock - also known to ski wherever a hill or mountain can be found