Thursday, May 7, 2009

Integrating Ottawa and Gatineau transit: Looking for an intevprovincial strategy

Recently the National Capital Commission (NCC), City of Ottawa, and Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) launched a joint-sponsored website at The website was launched by a group of consultants solicited by the three above-mentioned groups to assemble public input into the future of transit across the provincial line in the national capital region.

According to the website, the site was launched with ambitious goals:

The Strategy was launched as a proactive step to improve interprovincial coordination and efficiencies within the STO and OC Transpo transit services in the downtown cores of Gatineau and Ottawa.
There are a number of key issues to consider, not the least of which is the needs of commuters from either side to the other. It is anticipated to come to an end in January 2010, at which point the data gathered will be assembled into a recommendation for the best possible solution for inter-provincial integration.

There is significantly more information available on the above-linked official website, including more background information on the undertaking as well as copies of associated documentation.

For those interested, the first two consultations, planned as "Café-style small group discussions", are scheduled for the following dates:

Thursday May 14 2009
3:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Ottawa City Hall – Jean Pigott Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa

Tuesday May 19 2009
4:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Gatineau Maison du Citoyen – Agora
25 Laurier Street, Gatineau


Charles A-M said...

I can't figure out if these are open houses (i.e. they're open to the public, and you don't have to be there for the whole thing), or if they're cafe-style events where you have to register in advance and must be there for the whole time.

The site says information about registering for them will be posted "soon" (the thing's only a week away!), but they also refer to them as "Open Houses".

This is a very important issue that affects our community, and there is a lot of information to sort through. Why isn't there any information on the website for people to look at before the consultation? Wouldn't that allow for a better use of the open-house time?

If the NCC is trying to engage the public and get public input, they're not doing a very good job of it.

Charles A-M said...

FYI: I got the following response from the MRC consultant:

"Thank you for your comment.

"For the public consultation event, there will be both an open house
(with display boards) as well as small discussion groups. Discussion
groups will take place from 5-6:30 or from 7-8:30. (which ever works
best for you) If you are interested in only attending the open house,
staff will be available from 3:30 - 9:00 to answer any questions.

"We will begin registration for the discussion groups shortly.

"Ian Borsuk"

WJM said...

OK, so that was a waste of time.

Peter Raaymakers said...

Hahaha... WJM, did you attend the consultation? If so, what came of it?

WJM said...

I dropped in, but didn't have enough lead time to register (why did they insist on registration?) for the super-special sessions.

There were a bunch of half-assed storyboards put up, almost all of them text or bureaucratic bafflegab charts of some kind or another.

There were a lot of useful maps and graphics in the literature on the table... but you couldn't take it away. (And the graphics there would have been better converted into replacement storyboards anyway. STO's plans are largely a mystery on this side of the river, when they needen't be.)

Piddle-poor attempt at "consultation", but more or less what I'd expect from the NCC. And here, I always thought Marcel Beaudry was the problem.