Friday, October 8, 2010

2010 Election: Doucet on OC Transpo

Over the course of the 2010 Mayoral Election campaign, Public Transit in Ottawa will be sitting down with as many mayoral candidates as are available, discussing their platforms and thoughts on transit in this city, and what they hope to achieve during their mandate, if elected mayor.

Most mayoral candidates are looking at some way to re-organize OC Transpo into what they think would be a more efficient structure, and Clive Doucet is no exception. His idea, though, is different from any others: Break it up into branches, and have them compete with one another for the city's transit funding.
I want to divide OC Transpo into three divisions: A community division, a commuter bus division, and a light-rail division. Right now, the Transitway is running everything, and if you’re on the Transitway you get fabulous service, and if you’re in a community that’s not [then your service isn't as good.] We have no light-rail experts, really, whatsoever. We’ve got to break that monolith up into three divisions, and I want to see them competing to give us great service, not telling us how we all have to fit into the same shoe.
In Doucet's opinion, the change would improve the service across every level of OC Transpo. And rather than having a review to examine the re-organization, Doucet thinks it should happen right away, and each level will be responsible "to come forward to council and explain to me how they’re delivering better service each year".
Our Transitway is already recognized as one of the best in the country, and is an example to other cities around the world. But our local system leaves a lot to be desired. We need to improve our community level service, and we need to do it now—not in 20 years. Right now, we have two levels of service in the city, one for those who live near the Transitway, and one for everyone else. I want to change that by making community service a priority, and providing small buses for community service. I’ve heard from many people they don’t like these 60-, 90-foot buses rattling around small streets; we’re going to change that.


gordon said...

I can't help but feel that splitting OC Transpo into three divisions is going to lead to a lot of needless duplication. Local (neighbourhood) bus service shouldn't be competing with Transitway and rail. Rather, they should be working together to offer a seamless service network.

Eric S. Smith said...

Smaller buses result in less capacity at the same operating cost, and probably complicate maintenance.