Of the many mayoral candidates who've registered for the run, Stan Pioro appears to be the only one (at least among those who've published platforms) who is running with the intention of cutting back Ottawa's public transit system. In his platform, a 10-page Word document with little in the way of formatting that outlines the substantial proposed cuts, Pioro outlined his intention to reduce the city's investment into public transit.
Although he declined an in-depth interview with Transit Ottawa, Pioro did explain his position with regard to transit in the city through e-mail, in which he questioned the effectiveness of Ottawa's downtown transit tunnel, assumed a cost-overrun on the project which would at least double the bottom line to suggest its cancellation, and challenged the ability of OC Transpo managers to properly administrate the transit utility. His exact words:
I am philosophically opposed to spending billions of taxpayer dollars on mega-projects that benefit a minority of citizens of Ottawa in the downtown core.
The tunnel project and associated work, with traditional cost overruns of a minimum of 100%, will put the City $4 to $6 billion in debt. This is why this project must be killed.
As well, OC Transpo has an on-time rating of 53%. This is abysmal and unacceptable. It is a clear indication that Management has given up, and employees simply don't care. Basic issues must be resolved.
I don't believe that the taxpayer of Ottawa exists for the financial convenience of a Public Utility.
My interest is to concentrate on core services that will benefit the majority of taxpayers in Ottawa - both rural and urban.
Not everyone is in favour of public transit.