- Aug. 9 - Terry Fox Station
- Aug. 11 - Fallowfield Station
- Aug. 13 - South Keys Station
- Aug. 17 - Hurdman Station
- Aug. 19 - Place d’Orléans Station
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
In my opinion, $91 or $93 for a bus pass is not affordable.[...]
There is a social responsibility to make this affordable to the residents. We have to put more, to find a way to put more money into this service. The point is to lower the fares for users.
"The entrance to the system was like a very wide escalator, with broad metal tread plates of a parallelogram shape. After a short distance the tread plates were accelerated to one side, sliding past one another to form progressively into a narrower but faster moving track which travelled at almost a right-angle to the entry section. The passenger was accelerated through a parabolic path to a maximum design speed of 15 km/h (9 mph)."
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Tim Weis, the director of renewable energy and efficiency policies at the Pembina Institute, an Alberta-based environmental research group, said public transit agencies that want to plan new services, routes or incentives for commuters, also benefit from answers to questions on the long-form census that ask people how they get to work.
"When you're looking at programs for energy efficiency or programs for public transportation, some of the things you need to know are the sizes of houses, how they're living in them and how they're getting to work," said Weis.
This is slightly old news but worth noting: The old school, white with red stripe livery, slidey yet sticky, peach colored seat bus era has ended with the retirement of the last of the MCI/Novabus "Classic " model buses.
Monday, July 26, 2010
A Carleton Place-based and managed not-for-profit organization, LCT has been offering bus service to and from Ottawa since May 3. And now, if it is feasible, it would like to expand that service to neighbouring Smiths Falls.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
In addition to removing tens of thousands of cars from the road — 64,000 daily riders by 2030, according to transit authorities — the 15.6-mile Expo Line is expected to spawn a variety of mixed-use real estate projects, as some of the city’s previous rail lines have done. A project including more than 500 units of housing and a 300-room W hotel was recently completed at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, and a rental and retail complex was built at Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue in 2007.The Expo Line's first phase (from Culver City to downtown Los Angeles) runs 8.6 miles, or almost 14 km--a little bit longer than the 12.5 km LRT plan in Ottawa. One end of the line begins underground (the 7th Street metro center), which quickly emerges and runs at-grade for much of the route, with the exception of "aerial stations", one over La Brea Avenue, and the other over La Cienega Boulevard. The budget was initially supposed to run USD640M, but delays pushed the cost up $220M and pushed it back by a year, and now sits at mid- to late-2011. Still, even though we're comparing apples and oranges, it's a little reassuring to see an LRT line cost USD860M (about CAD890M) when ours is budgeted at CAD2.1B, even if it is concerning to hear of yet another LRT project with massive delays and cost overruns.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
There is new accessibility legislation around, an expectation that people with mental disabilities have as much right to Paratranspo as people with physical disabilities, we have an aging population--which may be more active, but the numbers of folks who incur a disability with age will increase; it will proportionally fall, but the numbers will increase--so I see a need to look at ParaTranspo, see how it's fitting today's needs, and what we should be doing to anticipate tomorrow's needs.
We have avoided, so far, a human rights challenge on mental disability, but that’s going to have to be part of the debate as well. We have a population that is getting more and more frustrated because of the constraints there, it has not increased in scope for some time. And, quite frankly, it’s very expensive; a bus ride costs between $2.50, $3, but Paratranspo is about $28 a ride. So we have to look at that very carefully. We’ve got a clientele that’s getting increasingly frustrated, we have pressure from accessibility legislation, and we have the cost of Paratranspo. The whole principle behind ParaTranspo is to enable those who cannot use our current public transit system an alternate means of participating in our society. I think that principle is very important, but it’s time to look at how well we do it, and what does it need to better meet our communities needs.
Buses on nine OC Transpo routes are supposed to be equipped with fold-down bike racks over the front bumpers, under the “Rack & Roll” program that runs from April to late October. But cyclists report buses on these routes often show up without racks.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
In fact, the city’s urban-planning activists are almost all singing buses. “They’re the smartest possible transit investment there is right now,” says Noah Budnick, the deputy director of Transportation Alternatives.[...]“The bottom line is buses are back, and people are waking up to the fact that they’ve never really been out of the picture here in New York,” says [Department of Transportation] commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who has been talking buses since her days in the private sector. We [New York] already have the largest fleet in North America—6,250 buses covering 900 square miles of territory, much of it in neighborhoods underserved by the subway system.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Eventually, this city will grow up; to say that we won’t build roads is a lie, because eventually we will be forced to do so. But also, we need to be more creative in order to move to cycling, with more safety [for cyclists].
I understand that people who use their bicycles are afraid to get onto the road, and share with the car owners, but I believe it is a matter of education. Because I know there are some cyclists who don’t follow the rules that they have to follow, so education is a key. [...] And also, [we have] to educate the drivers to pay respect to the cyclists.
As part of a city pilot project, two on-street car parking spots along Spadina have been converted into a small bike parking lot with two racks, each with eight spaces.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
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.
Friday, July 16, 2010
The current plan, certain to be an election issue over the coming weeks, is not even mediocre. Ottawans, you're massively overpaying. You're buying a Volkswagen with a BMW price tag.
[...]Ottawans need to stop spending big dollars for projects that don't work. The commuting traffic problems in Ottawa are now, not in 2018. And the biggest problem with the current light-rail plan is that is does nothing to solve the problem of commuting. Too much money on a tunnel, not enough line. That's a stupendous miss after spending billions.
However, officials say the terms of the proposed contract appear to have scared off bidders.
The NCC wanted the winning company to own the bicycles and locking stations, but companies didn't seem to want the financial risk of that kind of arrangement: No bike-sharing companies responded, including the Montreal company whose Bixi bicycles were used in the pilot project.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
"There are ways that we can reduce costs; for one thing, making the system run more efficiently. Right now, we’ve got direct buses going from particular suburbs going to downtown; a lot of them aren’t running at maximum capacity. They are a little more expensive, but on the same note, if you’ve got feeder buses going to a central depot and then you’ve got long-haul buses that are full of commuters. You make people do one transfer, but if you’ve got the buses running on a regular basis it shouldn’t be a significant inconvenience."
"We want to work with the union. If the union doesn’t want to work with us, we want to privatize. Not privatize the operation; the city would still govern the routes, schedules, own the buses, all that; only the labour aspect would be privatized. Basically, companies would bid on the positions, so they say they could provide you a driver for $50,000 a year; we give them the $50,000 a year, and they would then contract a driver for $40,000 a year.
"It would be regrettable, because nobody’s a big fan of privatization. Well, some people are big fans of privatization, but I’m a big leftie. I believe in labour unions, I believe in the value of unions, and I believe in the values of organized labour. But once the union begins to act more as a special interest group, that’s working for the interests of this particular small, privileged group at the expense of the working class, then you have to re-evaluate what their value is. They’re basically a lobby group now, working for a privileged group of people. They’re not actually a labour union fighting for the working class. So if they don’t want to work with us, then we’re going to work without them. We can’t have everybody in the City of Ottawa held hostage and paying ridiculous transit fees."
According to the Ottawa Sun on Wednesday, City Council voted against issuing a formal request to the Federal Government to buy federally-owned land for Ottawa's LRT project for $1. Instead, the city is going to budget $40M for land acquisition. The mentality of the decision:
Deputy city manager Nancy Schepers said staff fear the request could “skew” discussions for the light-rail project and others.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
"The report, prepared by the non-profit environmental group Ecology Ottawa, argues the high costs of roads needed to service urban sprawl are directly related to spiraling taxes and increased greenhouse emissions."
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Lansdowne, in my view, is making a huge mistake in terms of urban planning. It’s taking an example of a site which has tonnes of uses, and not "walking the walk" when it comes to transit. The whole notion that you have a 24,000-seat stadium, a 10,000-seat arena, 1,700-seat cinema, 340,000 square feet of commercial retail located at a site with no access to rapid transit; if someone came into this town with a 340,000-square-foot shopping centre in Orleans, Riverside South, in Kanata, we’d obligate them to be located by the Transitway. But we’re not doing that here. On top of all that, it’s an area that doesn't have sufficient parking, so you’d think transit would be the solution--but there’s no access to transit. [...] It’s a disaster, and it’s just bad urban planning. [...] Why create this obligation to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fix a mistake that you can avoid?
We have an inventory of football sites in this town, there are about 30 other places that meet the criteria of being on rapid transit. Bayview Yards is one example, it’s not the only one, but there it is: City-owned site, right by the Transitway, with proximity to downtown, and it just meets those criteria that are there in our official plan, and has the hierarchy of walking/cycling/transit that respects smart growth. But you’re not dealing with rationale here; you’re dealing with the emotion of football glory days.
For $130M, you could certainly put a sports stadium up at Bayview Yards, and you’re on rapid transit. You could marry in some trade-show space, as well, to make better use of the facility—that makes sense—so that would help offset some of those costs. It’s not a startling new idea, this idea has been debated around the Council table during this Lansdowne proposal, but the lobbying by the developers has put it on the backburner. The developers are going for the bird-in-hand, and the bird-in-hand is that the city puts up the money, refurbishes the stadium, and gives them the keys to the whole site, and they have access to land for 50 years for commercial development, and that commercial development will pay for the football franchise. Great for them, but it’s a horrible example of urban planning, with all these uses and no access to rapid transit. It’s council that has the obligation for good urban planning, and it’s council that’s dropping the ball.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Positively no more strikes, not here. [The strike] was so painful for the residents. That’s the reason I entered this race.
LRT reduced BMI [body-mass index] by an average of 1.18 kg/m2 compared to non-LRT users in the same area over a 12-18 month follow-up period. This is equivalent to a relative weight loss of 6.45 lbs for a person who is 5'5. LRT users were also 81% less likely to become obese over time.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I don’t want to fool people; the idea is not $735M come hell or high water, the idea is to get a tunnel in place that meets the need of our community. We think it’s $735M, but if it tends to be $750M, or $720M, that’s not such a big deal for me, as long as we get it in place, because we’re able to accommodate that. What is not sustainable is if a $735M tunnel becomes a $1.2B tunnel; that’s not sustainable. There are limits, and there would have to be limits, because we only have so much capacity. But we’re not in the danger zone of adopting something we cannot afford.
We have the financial capacity [to fund this plan]. It does not bring us to our limit, and, as a matter fact, we’ve taken the whole transportation master plan, at $3.8B over the lifetime of that transportation master plan, and we can do it. So that’s where my confidence comes from. We have the revenues identified from development charges—that’s the portion of development charges dedicated to transit, that’s not 100 per cent of development charges—and we have the gas tax rebate, we have our federal and provincial funding partners, and we have what we normally allocate for transit capital, which is about $75M, and that gets us to $900M. And we don’t threaten our triple-A rating on that basis.It is the biggest single project, it is going to transform our city, but the work that has gone into estimating the costs and estimating our financial capability of handling these costs, gives me the confidence to say that this is a very doable project.
"It's disappointing" because it will inconvenience fans, Monahan said. "People are still going to get here," but the transit authority could have delayed the work for a week until the festival was over."
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
An integrated rail network tying the whole city together, to me, is a no-brainer. They’re talking about building new bridges for cars across the river. There are, I think, something like 5,000 buses going across the river every day, and surely you could divert some of that traffic if you had a reasonable rail network in Gatineau linked to a reasonable rail network in Ottawa. They’ve already got the infrastructure in Gatineau, and we’re going to be connecting to the Bayview Station shortly—which is where the O-Train runs.
If Gatineau won’t talk to us, then I wouldn’t be averse to applying some pressure, saying, “You guys run a lot of STO buses to Ottawa; if you want to keep running your STO buses to Ottawa, let us run our train.” It’s just ridiculous. Tearing up rail line and putting in bus systems is what we were doing in the 1950s and everyone regrets it. The whole world is switching back to rail. We’re the only major city in Canada that doesn’t have a rail-based transit system. It’s more efficient, it’s cleaner, it’s a more comfortable way to go. It’s a no-brainer.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The City of
The NCC has not said one way or another that they will permit light rail on the Parkway. But the NCC was a key contributor in designing the assessment, and has suggested a willingness to discuss options if the Parkway is indeed recommended under the Environmental Assessment. The feeling at city hall is that the NCC wants to make sure the City has really investigated alternate routes and is not choosing the Parkway simply because it's there and is the easy "status-quo" choice.
The City is engaging stakeholders by forming three different input groups: agency, business, and public. The "agency" group is composed of government ministries and agencies that are involved because they are a major employer, landholder or provide oversight to the Environment Assessment process. The "business" group is made up of the school boards, hospitals and BIAs in the area. Finally, the "public" group comprises Community Associations, advocacy groups, and members from the city's Advisory Committees.
Monday, June 21, 2010 was the first day of meetings between the City and the consultation groups. The agenda was to get the groups up to speed on how the process will work and to invite the groups to offer feedback on the process itself.
The next meeting in September is where everyone will get into the details of choosing an alternate route. Management consultant group Delcan will be preparing a number of options to be reviewed at that point. Both the City and Delcan have been very up front about the fact that all options are on the table. The process will initially "fan out" to explore the different routes (Parkway, Carling, O-Train, Byron, and so on) and designs (underground, below grade, overhead, etc) then whittle the options down until just one route is selected as the recommended alignment.
Monday, July 5, 2010
“As they were explaining the project to us, with the 13 stations, it just seemed like such a wonderful opportunity to put a national or a capital component to it,” Lemay said.
The transit system will be a “capital-changing” project, she said.
“It would be wonderful to be able to involve the provinces. … One of the things we’ve heard from Canadians is they don’t feel represented in their nation’s capital. What a wonderful opportunity to actually give them that opportunity to be represented.”
Friday, July 2, 2010
It’s a disincentive for people to make the environmentally-friendly choice to live within walking or cycling distance of school if you charge people a blanket fee. People opt to live close to school, it’s a little more expensive rent-wise, but they’re making that decision to have that lifestyle, and they can invest some of the money that they save in transit into their increased rent. I think that’s a totally legitimate decision, and charging people $300 a year as a tax to walk or cycle is unethical.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Funny story a couple days ago on the Change Marketing blog about a group of local high school graduates who chartered an OC Transpo hybrid bus--the red and white limousine--to get to their prom at the end of the school year. And, with the cost spread out over the 25 or so riders, it only worked out to about $12 per person--cheaper, and better for the environment than your conventional limousine.