Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cullen "will not support" OC route cuts

During a discussion as part of a Transportation Master Plan panel on Rogers TV's Talk Ottawa, the subject of the draft-budget's proposed OC Transpo route cuts was brought up by a caller in to the show. The cuts have been incredibly unpopular on this blog, generating more comments than any other subject, and have spawned some public initiatives, including Keep The 23. In response, Bay Councillor and Chair of the City's Transit Committee Alex Cullen said that the idea--which is only in the draft budget--was made with overall budget reductions in mind, but will not receive his support. Cullen predicted that Council would not support the majority of the proposed cuts:
“Excellent observation, these are cuts I will not support. Here we are trying to build our system; we not only have to build it to accommodate the record levels of ridership we have today, so that was part of the plan, and also deal with the suburban areas, but we also want to hit that 30 per cent of all transportation trips by transit, and so we accepted a marketing plan that does that. Unfortunately, Council--which seems to multitask at the same time--wanted to bring in a budget that would be modest in terms of its tax take and requires $35M in cuts to do so.

“What's our largest service? At over $300, [it] is transit. So we have these 42 routes that will be sliced back, 13 routes to be eliminated, and--you're right--that's a contradiction. Council will deal with that, my betting is that Council will not accept the majority of those cuts to major transit routes.”
A number of routes have been defended strongly, including numbers 23, 117, 166, 51, and 55 by commentors on this website alone. I encourage anyone who's interested to discuss the cuts, and the reactions to them, on this blog, and it is just as important to get involved with the City budget process by one of the city-recommended avenues, or contacting your councillor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't cut route #23, there's no viable alternative to this route. There are approx. 300 daily users, that's at least 100 (if not more) cars back on the road if this route is cut.