- an increase the number of buses serving routes 2, 4, 5, 16, 30, 87, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 106, 111, 118, 120, 143, 148, 169, 261, 263, and 691;
- larger buses serving routes 4, 38, 60, 62, 87, 93, and 114 at peak times in the day; and
- route adjustments on route 5, 16, 93, 106, 121, 144, 169, and 198.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
You can also read a reasonable response from an OC Transpo driver on his blog Drives in Circles.
Some are suggesting that the victim was trying to get attention given that he studies acting. Passengers and at least one driver say that he is annoying. While the young man may be annoying to everyone on the bus, it doesn't appear that he was seeking attention to showcase his acting skills because we didn't see any kind of acting in the video.
A video of an OC Transpo driver swearing and threatening a mentally ill passenger has caught the attention of many including Mayor Jim Watson and even made national news. The video is below (warning: there are f-bombs):
“I heard the bus driver say ‘every night it's the same thing with you, just sit down and shut up and take your meds,'” he said. “Just really inappropriate things in my opinion.”
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
The current fare structure may be complicated to tourists and first time users, but it is still easy to learn. A regular transit user in Ottawa isn't still trying to learn the fare system, which haven't drastically changed in at least 15 years. While not difficult to understand, the strangest OC Transpo fare category is the O-Train fare. It is more expensive than the regular fare of two tickets. This means that it is cheaper to pay two tickets on a bus and use a bus transfer for the O-Train than it is to buy an O-Train ticket and use it as a transfer on a bus. There are no separate fares for rail vehicles or subways in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Edmonton, and Vancouver, so why does Ottawa have a distinct rail fare category?
Apparently, the new fares will be more simple and equitable. For simplicity, one would think that express fares would be gone, but that likely will not occur because that would lead to a trunk and feeder system, which has been scraped until the new LRT begins operation. Maybe, it's the actual fare itself that will make it easier. Presto cards handle all types of fares including passes. If you don't know whether to put in two tickets or three, Presto should be able to make that decision for you.
As for making this more equitable, age related fares already exist. So, the only other equitable issue is the travel distance and this issue is partially solved by express fares.
Transit fares in Ottawa aren't much more complicated than other Canadian cities. Calgary and Montreal's fare system is a bit more simple since they do not use "express" service to the suburbs. Toronto has a few express routes from downtown to residential areas, which require a separate fare similar to ours. Vancouver uses zone fares, which could be confusing if you are a tourist. Your fare would cost more if you were to travel through multiple zones in Vancouver.
With the new Presto card, it is understandable that OC Transpo may have to make some changes to its current fare system. But, if the issue is the complexity of present fare system, we should have seen a revamped fare structure many years ago.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
- Six new trains for the O-Train were purchased for $35 million from Alstom and are scheduled to be in service in 2014. The purchase is in anticipation of the O-Train expanding to Leitrim, which will be assessed by consultants for its feasibility.
- OC Transpo usually runs 175-178 buses on Slater during the PM rush according to OC Transpo Transit Design Manager Pat Scrimgeour. While Slater is close to threshold of 180, it is already experiencing significant bus congestion. From experience, walking from Metcalfe to Mackenzie King Bridge during the PM peak period is faster than riding any bus on Slater.
- Regarding Mackenzie King Bridge, Scrimgeour says boarding and unloading is the issue, and not the pedistrian crossing. They are paying close attention to it. Last week, I saw what appeared to be OC Transpo supervisors assisting with closing the rear doors on the eastbound platform of Mackenzie King during the PM rush. I've witnessed this new procedure on two separate days at 5 p.m. and there hasn't been a noticeable improvement; buses were still backed up to Elgin.
- OC Transpo ridership grew from August 2010 to August 2011 by 6.3%. Increased ridership and decreased service lead to overcrowded buses as experienced by many in September.
- Maintenace Chief Larry Atkinson said around 30 routes per day are served by the wrong kind of bus. This is a high number, but it's possible that there was only one instance of that occurring for each route.
- Since the route changes on September 4, OC Transpo has added articulated buses on certain trips on routes 4, 30, 34, 38, 41, 87, 93, 130, 134 and added trips during peak hours to routes 30, 131, 134, 136, 106. (Metro News)
- Presto Cards are scheduled for April 2012. The smartcards will replace passes and tickets. In theory, there should be fewer lineups at pass retailers near the beginning of the month. While the program will cost Ottawa $25 million and the province $7 million, this is expected to cut costs on administration for tickets and passes. The city has discussed the idea for Presto since 2006.
- Finally, Route 106 will serve the ring road around the General Hospital campus in late December. After continually modifying transit service to this area in the past month, it seems that Route 106 will be fully re-instated and operate like it did pre-September 4.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Looking back, there was never really any questioning if someone would be struck by a car at the Eagleson Road Park and Ride; it was simply a question of when it would happen.
Sadly, tragedy struck last week, when a 17-year-old girl running across the six lanes of high-speed traffic to transfer from one bus to another was fatally hit by a truck.
As it stands today, Eagleson Station is broken down into two stations: Eagleson East and Eagleson West, which each have parking lots for commuters and are separated by the fast-moving traffic of Eagleson Road. It's not uncommon for a rider to be dropped off on the Eagleson West platform and have to cross the street to catch their next bus at the Eagleson East platform. The traffic light at the intersection can be an agonizingly long wait, and can frequently be the reason for a missed transfer--made especially frustrating when you're stuck standing at a red light while the bus pulls in and then leaves the station you should be at, and the 15-20 minute wait for the next 96 bus. It's enough to drive lots of people to cross on a "don't walk" signal, despite the inherent dangers.
The only preventive measure currently installed along Eagleson Road is an eight-foot-tall chain-link fence running along the median between north- and southbound traffic. But rather than prevent people from crossing, the fence just funnels people toward a small section of median along the nearest intersection, and reduces visibility for both pedestrians crossing as well as automobile traffic driving.
That reduced visibility is significant, as cars barreling down the road can barely see people crossing the street, and pedestrians almost need to step into oncoming traffic in order to see where the nearest car is (along with the fence at the intersection is a large traffic light post, with traffic signs on it which further impede visibility).
The point of the fence is to encourage people not to cross, but it doesn't, and there's next to nothing the city can do to stop people from crossing. It's an example of infrastructure built to impede or block human nature, when the key to designing functional walkways is making it pedestrian-oriented. We need the crosswalk to fit human tendencies, not attempt to shape them.
The city must do something to improve the current configuration of the Eagleson Road Park and Ride. As it stands today, with parking lots and drop-off points on both sides of the street, people are almost encouraged to jaywalk despite the danger of six lanes of very fast (usually greater than 60 km/h) car traffic.
The simplest and most immediate measure costs nothing but time: Have every route traveling in any direction head into the larger station on the northbound side of Eagleson Road. It might add five minutes to a bus trip, but that's not what matters here.
Another choice is a pedestrian underpass or overpass, and some have called for a footbridge in the aftermath of the accident. A footbridge, though, would also take longer than crossing the road itself (so you may still see people jaywalking), and would likely be more expensive than what I think would be the best solution.
The best, and most long-term, option is a bottom-up redesign of the station. An easy comparable is Baseline Station, where buses traveling in either direction turn into the station, rather than dropping people off on one side of Woodroffe (which, like Eagleson Road, is six lanes wide). It's a fairly easy fix, and, although we need to do something regardless of the cost, it would not be terribly expensive. It might require a few parking spots in the already-overstuffed parking lot to be sacrificed, but that's a sacrifice worth making.
The design below (pardon the low quality) is one option for the redesign. Basically, the idea is that the three current drop-off/pick-up points (one on the west side of Eagleson, two on the east) are amalgamated into one larger station. This would be safer and simpler for riders catching their buses, and also for those waiting for their buses: In December of 2009 a man waiting at the park and ride was robbed at knifepoint, and a larger station would draw more people and likely offer a more secure place to wait.
The bottom line is something needs to be done, and quickly. Lives could be at stake.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
If you're not sure whether or not you're ride will change, check the OC Transpo website and find out.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Speaking at the monthly Mayor's Breakfast, Horwath criticized the Liberals for not doing enough to help cities make transit affordable and championed her party's promise to take on 50 per cent of operating costs, in exchange for a fare freeze.The promise was also covered by the Ottawa Citizen.
"It would begin to put cities like Ottawa on even footing with other cities around the world," Horwath told the crowd. "Other cities where national and regional governments step up to the plate and take on a fair share of transit funding."
Although I'm unable to price out this promise, if it were feasible, it would be a huge boon to OC Transpo; right now, they're re-couping fifty per cent of operating costs by fares, so if they freeze them (rather than lowering them), they'd actually be sitting on a pretty hefty budget surplus after the year.
Realistically, if the Provincial Governments (whether it's NDP or aything else) were to absorb half of OC Transpo's operating costs, we could see one of two things happening to offset that budget surplus:
- A pretty hefty fare decrease, because less of the operating costs need to be recovered at the fare box; or
- A lesser subsidy from the municipal government.
The second option seems significantly more likely, as unfortunate as that would be for transit users (although property tax payers in Ottawa would be happy with it).
What could Ottawa do with that money? A lot of things. Transit-wise, it could be put towards adding a few bells and whistles to the upcoming LRT project, or expediting the expansion of it further east, west, or south. (We could also see lower property taxes, but that seems pretty unlikely, too.)
The NDP is a way down in the polls leading up to the provincial election, but once again they're offering some of the most significant transit promises. We'll see what happens out of it.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Do you notice your bus getting more crowded? OC Transpo has seen a large boost in ridership in 2010 and has reached a new record level for ridership. According to 580 CFRA, “99 million people used OC Transpo last year, up from 83 million in 2009.” OCTranspo.com reports the number as 99.3 million. Still, this is approximately a 19 percent increase in ridership, which is significant because the national average increase was only 4.1 percent. The record for the highest OC Transpo ridership was 95,646,026 in 2007.
--Update (2:26pm): The 19 percent growth may not be as large as it may seem due to the fact there was the transit strike in late 2008 and early 2009, which caused a decline in ridership during that period and immediately after the strike ended. Nevertheless, there is still an increase in ridership from 2008 to 2010.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Heaters seem like a natural choice. Plans for the above-ground stations are all open-concept structures, so there may not be much shelter from the winter wind and snow, so it makes sense. I've written on this site in the past about the potential for renewable energy to power heaters in transit stations, and I hope that possibility is explored, but, however they're powered, I don't think heaters are an optional expense for our system.
Washrooms, on the other hand, aren't as important as heaters. At first thought, they seemed like great additions for their convenience and practicality, but in my opinion, the maintenance costs and the safety risks associated with them would outweigh the benefits.
It's preliminary for the time being, and staff are looking into both washrooms and heaters at stations, so we'll see what they come up with about them.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
That's terrifying. The above video is of an STO driver filling out and filing paperwork while driving on what is reportedly one of Gatineau's busiest roads. With traffic obviously moving all around him. I don't even want to imagine being on that bus, or being a driver alongside him.
From a CBC article on the incident:
"Dominique Leclerc, speaking for Société de transport de l'Outaouais, said the driver's behaviour was unsafe and that the service would speak with him to get "his version."I'd be interested in hearing what kind of defence the driver might be able to come up with. I can't imagine a circumstance that would make that transgression acceptable.
"The bus driver's union wouldn't comment on the video, but a union official told CBC News the recording might violate the driver's privacy rights."
While it's true that the video is likely a violation of the driver's privacy, you'd have to be kidding yourself to expect someone not to when you're doing something so ridiculous. Did you see the part where he stuck his arms through the wheel and onto the dash to grab some papers?
Like I said, unreal.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
“Based on the current modeling of system operation it is anticipated that the train travel time from Blair Station to Tunney’s Pasture Station will be approximately twenty-four (24) minutes. The time from Blair Station to Rideau Station will be less than sixteen (16) minutes and Tunney’s Pasture Station to Rideau Station will be just over eight (8) minutes.”
Monday, July 18, 2011
Bayview station's theme is sustainability.
Lebreton station's theme is Algonquin.
Downtown West station's theme is Bytown.
Downtown East station's theme is Confederation.
Rideau station's theme is gallery.
Campus station's theme is innovation.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
A long road of transit fare hikes is facing OC Transpo riders to help pay for the $2.1 billion Light Rail Transit system.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
A Queen Street tunnel will mean less construction disruptions on Albert and Slater. With the old plan, the tunnel would have crossed Albert and Slater, which likely would have caused disruptions to transit and car traffic.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, major stations may have themes in their designs:
"The city also released more details of plans for particular stations Thursday, including the idea that several major stations could have “themes” guiding their designs. The LeBreton Flats station would contain elements honouring Algonquin culture, for instance and the “Downtown East” station at Queen and O’Connor would have elements celebrating Ottawa’s role as Canada’s capital."The theme designs will make the light rail stations more interesting to look at than the present stale red transit stations. Adding a distinctive look to each major station will also make it easier for transit users to identify the station in crowded trains.
The Mayor's announcement of these changes, while maintaining the budget, is good news for Ottawa transit users and taxpayers.
Monday, June 13, 2011
It seems that city staff and planners are reluctant to face an obvious fact: The Parkway option is simply not going to happen.
The NCC is obviously no in favour of the option. Since the plan was approved, the NCC has been telling the city that they'd better investigate every other option available, because they'd need a compelling case to offer the Parkway for light-rail. Although they haven't said so explicitly, they've hinted as recently as last week that they're not convinced.
The Parkway option would have advantages. It's the simplest because there's little development to disrupt; it's the cheapest for the same reason; and it's the current western corridor so there's an ease of transition. (It would also offer riders a pretty sweet view across the river as they ride the train, but that's probably not a deciding factor in the debate.)
But those advantages are based on a fact that is also the most significant criticism of the option: Namely, that it's not surrounded by high populations. It would draw well from the northern portion of Westboro, but on the other side is just a river--not many people live in there. Contrast that with Carling or Byron, which are surrounded on both sides by fairly high-density residential areas as well as retail sites and plenty of employers.
Last week, David Reevely blogged about a letter from the NCC to the city in which their tone changed slightly: They don't want to allow trains on the Parkway, and they see little reason to think that would change.
I'm sure few would argue that using the Ottawa River Parkway land as a scenic roadway is the best use of that land, but using it as a light-rail throughfare wouldn't be much better.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Two seniors are each suing OC Transpo for $2.1 million for injuries they received after falling while riding the bus, allegedly because of bad driving.
According to their lawyer, these types of claims are becoming more common on Ottawa transit.
“It’s when (drivers) don’t wait for the people to sit down,” Brenda Hollingsworth said Thursday. “There are lots of accidents on the bus.”
Both statements of claim, which also name the city and
unidentified bus drivers as defendants, were filed in Superior Court last week.
The case hasn't been investigated thoroughly yet, so it's unclear at this point how culpable OC Transpo and the driver in question are in the injuries. Still, for anyone who's ridden the bus, it's easy to imagine such scenarios happening--and with relative frequency, although thankfully not always resulting in serious injuries. Many of the incidents may not even be the fault of drivers, but a natural result of growing bus congestion along bus corridors, general vehicle congestion along roadways, and an ever-increasing need to make good time along routes. Some drivers are certainly more aggressive than others, but even the best driver will have to accelerate or decelerate quickly in certain situation to avoid collisions or other incidents.
But do these incidents demonstrate a flaw with bus-rapid transit (BRT)? I believe they do, even if it's not a fatal flaw.
BRT is a rapid transit option that has many advantages, including low start-up costs and a high level of flexibility. But those advantages also have costs, especially to the comfort level of the ride: Bumpy roadways and aging buses can contribute to a rough ride, and the large number of vehicles each driven by independent-thinking operators will inevitably result in some abrupt starts or stops along the way.
Contrast this system with light-rail transit, or other train-based transit systems. They have higher start-up costs and are less flexible, but the tracks lead to a smoother ride and the vehicles accelerate and decelerate at a steady and (rarely) interrupted rate.
Improved comfort is far from the only advantage that a LRT system would boast, but in the face of a couple lawsuits totalling $4.2M, it could be a pretty valuable one.
Friday, May 27, 2011
The roundtable kicked things off with a discussion of several issues facing the city's current light-rail transit plan, and especially the downtown tunnel. As is usually the case, cost came up, and the possibility (or probability) of cost increases as we move forward with the plan. The general consensus of the panel was that costs will likely go up, at the very least due to inflation, but that's a fairly normal occurence when projects of this magnitude are undertaken. Reevely suggested that there are options available if cost estimates rise significantly, including shortening the tunnel or finding savings in platform designs, but it would take a drastic increase in cost (a jump to, say, $3.5B or more) for the city to entertain the possibility of scrapping the project entirely. A fair degree of political humiliation would result from a cancellation, Reevely said, and DuCharme pointed out that a second major transit project cancellation in just ten years would seriously tarnish the city's reputation.
Sticking with the LRT project, we also discussed the impacts that will be felt leading up to and during the construction of the tunnel downtown. There was agreement that the impacts would not be insignificant--there will definitely be major disruptions to bus routes for at least a couple years during construction, and likely some street closures during the tunneling process--but, as Reevely and DuCharme both said, the hope is that the long-term benefits will outweigh the short-term inconveniences.
In the more immediate term, we also looked at potential service changes to the O-Train. Given the success of the pilot project-cum-transit spine, the city is seriously looking at increasing the capacity of the O-Train, which was generally regarded as a good idea. As was the possibility of extending the train along mostly-existing train tracks into the growing development of Riverside South, for which the Transit Commission approved a feasibility study.
That latter option, if pursued, would eventually lead to a revamped O-Train meeting the city's major east-west light-rail system at Bayview Station, which would transform that station into one of the city's biggest transfer points for riders. Bayview also happens to be a prime location for transit-oriented development, so the discussion moved on to the possibility of retail, residential, commercial, and other development (including a sports stadium) in or around the station. Members of the panel were fairly excited about the possibility, but all seemed to realize it would still have a long road to travel before coming to fruition.
On the topic of sports stadiums, the city's recent decision to study a potential Coventry Road footbridge across the Queensway connecting the Transitway with Ottawa Baseball Stadium and the developments surrounding it also came up. It's a $1M study into a $9M bridge which spans an area of the highway that will soon be expanded, and the panel seemed to think the City was well on its way to going forward with the bridge--Reevely pointed out that in a city that routinely builds road bridges for tens of millions of dollars, $9M for a pedestrian footbridge isn't an outrageous expense. To the criticism that there's no long-term certainty of the baseball stadium, panellists pointed out that there isn't only a baseball stadium there: There are also many houses, businesses, and the Hampton Inn and convention centre that would benefit from a more direct connection to the city's major transit spine, plus the fact that if the city decides to tear down the stadium, something else will certainly be built in its place. Plus, given that transportation was likely a major factor in the Lynx' struggles at attracting spectators, improving the accessibility of the stadium by putting it along the Transitway and opening it up to more people could go a long way in making it a more viable home stadium for a professional baseball team.
Also discussed were the outdoor water ban in the south end and street name changes, but those didn't have too much to do with transit so I won't go in to too much detail.
Friday, May 6, 2011
I'm sad to say that due to time constraints in my life outside of this website, I'm going to have to shutter operations on TransitOttawa.ca for the time being. While I'll still maintain my avid interest in all things transit in this city, I simply don't have the time to maintain this website in any regular fashion, so it seems best to step away for an unknown but hopefully short period of time.
This website will remain, and the archives will stay online, because I think that's where the true value will come. The reason I started this site was to serve as a repository of sorts; a place where people can easily and quickly find information about past transit news and projects. Hopefully that's a valuable resource for people to have, even if the content isn't as regularly updated as it once was.
On the bright side, there are quite a few great resources for anyone interested in following public transit news in the city, including (but not limited to) some personal favourites:
If anyone would like to contact me about the site or transit, or if there's someone who'd like to write about transit on this site, feel free to contact me by e-mail at email@example.com.
Cheers, and I hope to be back here soon,
Monday, May 2, 2011
- Conservatives: The Conservative Party, over the past six years while they've run the federal government, has been forthcoming with funding for municipal transit projects--and Ottawa is no exception. But they haven't made any pledge to sustained, consistent funding, and their platform only mentions past investments, without promise of future ones.
- Liberals: Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has said he's interested in funding public transit, although there's no commitment for a funding strategy as of yet. Their platform mentions local and regional rapid transit, as well as high-speed inter-regional rail, as priorities, but it remains to be seen how they'd prioritize them.
- NDP: The NDP actually proposed a national transit strategy during the last parliament, and that's also a major part of their platform as well. The platform also says they'll immediately transfer "another cent of the existing gas tax to public transit funding for municipalities".
- Green: The Green platform has a commitment for "[s]ustainable long-term funding support for municipalities to repair decades-old crumbling infrastructure", and their budget includes a Mass Transit Promotion municipal "superfund" worth $700M per year nationally.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
The news is good for two reasons: First, it proves that students at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa are making full use of their significantly discounted universal student bus passes. This shows that the investment the city's making is working, and that students are making use of the opportunities afforded through the U-Pass. But more significantly, it looks like there are no residual effects resulting from the winter transit strike of 2008-09. Ridership numbers had fallen in both 2008 and 2009, but it wasn't clear whether that was caused entirely by the service disruption or whether people had found other ways of getting around the city. Although we haven't yet seen the full annual number for ridership in 2010, this most recent announcement suggests we're going to see a spike in ridership compared to past years. OC Transpo's all-time high ridership was 95,646,026, set in 2007.
The latest figures from the city show OC Transpo ridership increased by more than five per cent over the same quarter in 2009.
The city says the introduction of the U-pass was a large contributor to the spike. It's estimated the bus pass contributed to an additional 300,000 student trips each month.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The US Federal Transit Authority, similar to its Canadian counterpart, the Canadian Transit Authority, is responsible for making recommendations and regulations on mass transit. Currently, the standards by which safety on public transit is based on surveys done in the early 1960s, and don't really reflect the way people are built in today's world. From Smart Planet:
So public transit companies are going to have to make some changes (unless people in general make changes to their diet, but that doesn't seem likely). I haven't seen information about Ottawa or Canada, but in time, we're likely going to need to lower the number of people we allow on buses, or make buses bigger. Neither option is without a cost.
The Federal Transit Authority has proposed to raise the assumed average weight of a bus commuter around the United States to accommodate the increasing waistline of most Americans.
The federal agency wants to raise the assumed average weight per bus passenger from 150 pounds to 175 pounds, which could mean fewer people will be allowed to board city buses to meet safety regulations.
The authority has also proposed to add an extra quarter of a square foot of floor space per passenger on buses. With several passengers weighing far more than 200 pounds, the new system seems slightly more realistic.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
The leg continues the Transitway from the redesigned Fallowfield Station through the new Longfields Station to the Strandherd Park-n-Ride and finally the new Barrhaven Centre terminus. It's a massive undertaking that's been in the works for a few years, but will definitely improve service to Barrhaven (especially the new developments in the southwest of the suburb). Check out some photos and information on the Southwest extension here, here, or here.
With the new Transitway opening, there are also going to be some pretty substantial service changes in Barrhaven. The most notable change, aside from many buses (including the 95) now travelling down the Transitway rather than along Greenbank, is the extension of route 94 into Barrhaven.
Click the image above to see a larger image of the current Barrhaven service map, or click here to download a .PDF.
If you're a Barrhaven-based OC Transpo rider, how do you feel about these service changes?
Friday, April 15, 2011
The election campaign kicked off with a fair amount of discussion around municipal issues and public transit, but most party leaders have been derailed by political attacks on their counterparts. We'd all be better off if they stuck to the issues at hand, and make tangible promises for more funding for public transit.
Canada needs a national strategy to cut commute times, improve public transit, and bridge gaps in the national transportation system. All parties must commit to dedicating funding for public transit in the long-term fiscal framework; legislate clear targets for increasing access to public transit; and implement supportive tax policies, including a tax-deductible, employer-provided public transit pass; and work with provinces, territories, and municipalities to prioritize and address strategic gaps in Canada’s air, rail, road, and marine networks.
As a first step, all parties should commit to invest more of the federal taxes Canadians already pay at the gas pump in shorter commutes and better public transit. In addition to its existing Gas Tax Fund, the federal government must dedicate a share of its current gas tax revenues to replace $400 million in recently expired federal transit funding.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The quarterly performance report shows the lowest mechanical failure rate for the Transit Service in over a year.
OC Transpo says 99.38 per cent of scheduled vehicle hours were placed into service in the October to December period.
OC Transpo says the lowest mechanical failure rate in over a year reflects an increase in bus maintenance reliability.
It's great that service isn't interrupted as frequently because there are fewer mechanical problems. But honestly, this should be expected: OC Transpo is spending tens of millions of dollars modernizing the fleet, and there are likely tens of millions more to be spent in the coming year on double-decker buses. New buses require less maintenance than older ones, and older ones are being moved out of the fleet; those two factors combine to greatly reduce the mechanical problems. When the new OC Transpo garage is opened, it should be even less frequent for service to be interrupted.
That's not to take anything away from OC Transpo mechanics, as they're still most certainly doing hard work. But a more modern fleet and a state-of-the-art garage do make it easier on them.