Mayor Larry O'Brien has recently called for OC Transpo management to be handed over to an independent transit commission rather than answer directly to city council, CTV.ca is reporting.
On Rogers 22's Talk Ottawa program on Monday night, O'Brien cited declining customer service ratings and the politicization and micro-management of OC Transpo as problems he's come to understand, and he believes an independent commission would help address them. He pointed to the recommendations of his 2007 Task Force on Transportation and also of a report by consulting firm Oliver Wyman in June 2008, both suggesting the city would benefit from establishing an independent commission.
Although O'Brien has yet to publicly say whether or not he's going to be running for re-election, a transit commission may figure to be a key issue in the upcoming municipal elections. Mayoral candidate Alex Cullen, currently Bay Ward Councillor and chair of the transit committee, challenged O'Brien's contention that the current management structure breeds politicization of the issues, and also questioned the accountability of an independent commission.