Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stop-calling gets worse as SmartBus upgrade put on hold

The compliance rate for OC Transpo drivers calling out stops on buses hit its lowest point of the year in September, dropping to 78 per cent according to OCTranspo.com. The City of Ottawa was fined $5000 in July for failing to achieve 100 per cent compliance with stop announcements, and has yet to address the problem.

Attempts to address the problem, however, have recently hit a snag. While the City decided they were willing to pay nearly $12M to Clever Devices to install SmartBus technology across the OC Transpo fleet, Bell Canada has threatened legal action stemming from the City's bidding process, according to Metro Ottawa. While the city put out a call for bids on a system to call out stops, Clever Devices' bid included a number of other technological upgrades which were not included in the "scope of request" for the bidding process.

Who knows what'll happen. Another setback for the necessary upgrade to the bus fleet, risking another fine from the Canadian Transit Authority, and--more importantly--continued accessibility barriers for transit users.

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