Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 Election: O'Brien's transit commission

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.

One of the common threads of some of the most well-known candidates in the 2010 mayoral election has been the desire to establish a transit commission to manage the day-to-day operations of OC Transpo. Incumbent Larry O'Brien is one candidate who has thrown his support behind the idea, suggesting that some councillors approach issues with too much of a ward-centric approach.
I think it’s nothing short of bizarre who are supposed to act as a board of directors are arguing over bus routes.


We have things that we’re supposed to be responsible for, and one of them isn’t determining what the bus routes should be in the city of Ottawa. That’s all about service, and I think that should be far, far away from politics. That should be a decision as to how a city works well, not who’s got the best arguments for adding four routes in their ward.
Under O'Brien's model, the transit commission would have some city council presence, but would be made up mostly of independent professionals.
I think it’s primarily independent, with, just like the hydro board where we have three or four councillors on it. Instead of being on a transit committee, they could be on the transit commission. They would be our representatives on the board, and the balance of the board—the majority of the board—being outside people. Perhaps somebody from the federal government, and also people who are professionals in terms of running a transit system.

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