Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Things fall apart; The centre cannot hold

Could we soon see an Ottawa Transit Commission (or OTC)?

According to a report in the Ottawa Sun, Ottawa transit it not up to par. International management consultant Oliver Wyman, who was hired by the city to review Ottawa's transit services, concluded that "service is poor, not improving and customer satisfaction is plummeting."

The report says there is "deteriorating performance both financially and in the quality of service delivery," that OC Transpo's "cost effectiveness (direct operating costs/passenger trip) is less than the median," and that service and satisfaction levels are below average.

Customer satisfaction with the public transit service has dropped to 45% from 62% in 2004.

To improve the service, the city needs to create a transit commission that would be funded by the city, governed by its policies and "accountable for all aspects of transit services where board members are elected officials."

Somehow, I'm not surprised the service has been falling off. The system seems to have a breaking point, and the process of getting there has been accelerated by the influx of riders avoiding high gas prices by flocking to public transit.

(Title from William Butler Yeats' The Second Coming)

1 comment:

Ben said...

Accountability... something that the entire city council and its minions need to learn, and one day fear.

There is a lack of watchdogs in this city, that is for sure. OTC is an excellent idea. Please, don't leave managing OC Transpo to the councilors.