Opportunity: Social Media Campaign - Have Your Voice Heard

We are looking for your stories, experiences, and feelings about the proposed 2.5% fare increase. 

Ottawa Transit Riders in collaboration with Courage Ottawa are launching a social media campaign against the fare increase. We know that Ottawans will be impacted by the fare increase, and we want to show the City leadership how their decisions will hurt the residents of Ottawa.

The campaign is simple. We will connect you with a photographer who will take a picture of you at a location significant to your transit experience. We want to show the City and OC Transpo that there are people that their decisions affect, not just “taxpayers.”

To go along with the picture will be a short write-up. We’ll provide a few open-ended questions, but feel free to speak your mind. This is an opportunity to get your voice heard. If you’re not comfortable writing something, we can schedule a one-on-one chat. If you’re more comfortable with writing, go for it.

The picture and the write-up will be featured on the Ottawa Transit Riders and Courage Ottawa social media channels. 

If you’re interested in being involved with the campaign or have questions or concerns, reach out to ottawatransitriders@gmail.com.

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Free Transit or hold the line?

There is much discussion these days on the struggle of low income residents in Ottawa. Several disability rights groups have banded together to fight for fairer financial support from provincial and federal governments.

#ODSPoverty

A small number of people qualify for reduced fare passes such as the Community pass ($43.25) and the EquiPass ($58.25). However, even these reduced fare passes take a chunk out of people’s budgets. Plus the application process is complicated and cumbersome.

People who don’t qualify for reduced-fares face some of the highest transit fares in Canada. An adult pass costs $119.50 / month ($1434.00 / year) in Ottawa. Compare this to Victoria where an adult fare costs $85 per month. Or Kingston where a monthly pass is $80, London, ONT where a monthly pass is $95, or Halifax where a monthly bus pass is $82.50.

The city of Ottawa is proposing to raise transit fares by 2.5% every year starting in January 2021.

This is a huge blow to everyone who uses transit, but it is especially hard on low income residents. Transit is an essential service – to persons with disabilities, to teens, to seniors, to low income residents.

Ottawa Transit Riders is fighting to #FlattenTheFares – do you think we should be going further and advocating for Free Transit?

 

Here is an article from Winnipeg in 2018 about how to make cheaper fares available: Fast Facts: How to Make a Low Income Bus Pass Work 

 

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Online budget consultation - Mon. Oct 19th

An online budget consultation will be held Monday, October 19, 2020 from 6:30PM to 8 PM hosted by

 

Councillor Kavanagh - Ward 7 Bay - BayWard@otttawa.ca

Councillor Leiper - Ward 15 Kitchissippi - Jeff.Leiper@ottawa.ca

Councillor Brockington - Ward 16 River - Riley.Brockington@ottawa.ca

 

To participate, please email baywardbulletin.ca or contact one of the councillors directly.

Democracy is more than a once-every-four-years exercise in voting. These consultations should be an opportunity for residents to express opinions on the direction the city should be moving and how our money should be spent.

The pandemic has shone a light on our inequalities and frailties. Where would we be without grocery staff, pharmacy employees, and healthcare workers? Did you bang pots and pans in appreciation for essential workers?

Does the budget reflect our values?

#FlattenTheFares 

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Free Transit for Youth in Victoria - could it work in Ottawa?

Victoria, BC has announced that it will continue to offer free transit passes to youth aged 18 years and under. 

The original plan (agreed upon in 2019) was for the city to purchase about 7,000 youth passes and distribute them to eligible residents. Unfortunately, fewer youth than expected requested the passes and then transit was free for everyone during the pandemic lockdown.

For the revised plan, Victoria intends to buy fewer passes in advance and provide them upon demand.Youth passes are about $135 per year in Victoria.

The pilot project is funded by Sunday parking fares.

Could this work in Ottawa?

Youth passes are much more expensive in Ottawa - $92.25 per month or $1,107 per year.

Victoria started charging for Sunday parking in May 2019 and expects to collect between $600,000 to $1 million per year.

For such a plan to work, OC Transpo would have to reduce its youth fares and the city would have to consider charging people to park on Sundays.

 

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Join us as we work to #FlattenTheFare in the #Fight4FairFares!

Were we misled?

At first, we were relieved to hear at the September Transit Commission meeting that the Transit Commissioners believed OC Transpo should freeze fares until commissioners were satisfied that the LRT was fully functional and had proved its ability to withstand an Ottawa winter without persistent issues. During a global pandemic that has left many struggling financially, this seemed to be a sound and sensible decision.

However, on October 6th at the Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCO) meeting, the Mayor announced that the city is planning a 2.5% fare increase for 2021, with the exception of EquiPass, Community Pass and Seniors’ passes. During the COVID-19 lockdown, most people still riding transit are transit dependent. Increasing fares is bad for equity and will disproportionately affect these individuals who include many low income workers (grocery and retail workers, cleaners, personal support workers, etc.) and people with disabilities. Not all of these riders are eligible for discounted fares, and others do not use the lower cost programs due to the red tape, yearly hassles and lack of dignity involved in applying for them. Transit will take an increasingly large bite out of their already overstretched budgets. If we really believe in promoting equity in our community, freezing transit fares is a simple way to ensure that everyone has a safe, reliable and truly affordable way to get around.

As the Transit Commission noted, we also do not have enough confidence in the performance of the LRT to justify raising fares. We do not know if last winter’s issues have been resolved, and with lower ridership volumes it will be difficult to determine whether service is indeed improved or if the lack of ridership is simply masking issues that still exist. A fare increase should not be contemplated at a time when riders do not have full confidence in their transit system.

Finally, the decision to raise transit fares undermines the City’s declaration of a climate emergency. We know that one surefire way to reduce emissions is to reduce our use of personal vehicles and instead opt for public transit, cycling, walking or mobility devices. If we want to encourage transit usage, we need to make transit affordable and reliable so that it represents a viable, convenient and economical alternative to a personal vehicle for most trips. Increasing transit fares discourages ridership and pushes people toward continued car usage.

An increase of transit rates will make life harder for many, particularly those who can least afford to spend more money on transit. It will further reduce ridership among those who have other alternatives, and with no guarantee that the LRT will perform well in winter conditions, we do not even know if the service we are paying so much for will be reliable. Please join us in fighting for fair fares by calling, writing or reaching out on social media to your city councillor, the mayor and the transit commissioners to let them know how you feel. You can tag them in your social media posts using the hashtag #Fight4FairFares. We need to call out City Council and OC Transpo and let them know that citizens deserve a fare freeze.

 

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Cumberland candidates - part 2!

We are pleased to share answers to our transit survey from three additional candidates for the Cumberland byelection. / Nous sommes heureux de vous faire part des réponses à notre enquête sur le transit de trois autres candidats à l'élection partielle de Cumberland.

You can find the other three responses here. / vous pouvez trouver les trois autres réponses ici .

 


Question 1

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing public transit in Cumberland Ward? / À votre avis, quel est le plus grand défi concernant le transport en commun dans le quartier Cumberland?

Yvette Ashiri

Definitely interconnectivity between Cumberland Ward and the rest of the City. A reason why many people end up taking their cars is because transit from Cumberland to Ottawa is so limited especially in the rural parts of the ward. We need transit that is reliable for our rural residents as well as our suburban residents. We also need to make sure that Phase 2 of LRT goes smoothly and is as transparent as possible.

Mark Scharfe

Poor Service!


 

Question 2

The launch of Ottawa’s new Light Rail Transit (LRT) system has been plagued by issues. If elected, what steps would you take to fix the current LRT system, and prevent the same thing from happening with Stage 2? / Le lancement du nouveau système de train léger sur rail (TLR) d’Ottawa a été entaché de nombreux problèmes. Si vous êtes élu(e), quelles mesures prendriez-vous pour réparer le système TLR actuel et éviter des problèmes similaires avec l'étape 2?

Mark Scharfe

The contractors would have to remain in place, however, the locomotives will have to be replaced by diesel locomotives. In this country, with temperatures ranging from 40 below to 40 above, the electric trains will give us constant problems. Put on diesel engines, and let the conductors be responsible for the times leaving and arriving. Diesil engines look after their own heating and cooling. Transit riders deserve good service.

Yvette Ashiri

As we have been made aptly aware by the LRT system, P3s (Public-Private Partnerships) are not the answer. Not only do they lack accountability, but they also allow corporations like the RTG consortium to cut corners. We need to terminate our contract with RTG and bring it in house – same goes for Phase 2. If we want the world-class transit system we were promised, that means making sure that we have greater transparency and greater, more consultation with the public, after all we are the ones that are going to use the system.


 

Question 3

Do you support the City of Ottawa’s Option 7 as part of the Brian Coburn Extension? If not, which option do you prefer? / Êtes-vous d’accord avec l’option 7 de la Ville d’Ottawa dans le cadre du prolongement Brian Coburn? Sinon, quelle option préférez-vous?

Yvette Ashiri

This has been a complicated issue that has come up quite a bit from residents. As it stands now, Option 7 does seem to be the least bad option and is one that has been supported by a number of Councilors and community associations. That being said shouldn’t we strive for better than the “least bad”? What I would be more interested in is looking at options to increase the volume of bus service in Cumberland Ward (especially in the rural parts of the City), like for example having a train that will bring residents from the rural era directly to downtown and maintaining the roads we already have while protecting our Greenbelt

In the end, the goal should always be to reduce congestion and get more cars off the road, the literature has been quite clear that widening lanes and expanding roads is not necessarily the best solution.  

Mark Scharfe

I have not researched the options well enough to give a position on this issue.


 

Question 4

ParaTranspo’s rural service is increasingly expensive and unreliable. How would you ensure that rural ParaTranspo users in Cumberland Ward have access to reliable public transit? / Le service rural de ParaTranspo est de plus en plus coûteux et peu fiable. Comment vous assureriez-vous que les utilisateurs ruraux de ParaTranspo du quartier Cumberland ont accès à un transport en commun fiable?

Mark Scharfe

I have found that this type of service is fine if they have proper funding. I would ensure the proper funding by suspending ridiculous and costly programs like the green bin program

Yvette Ashiri

Disability justice is a big part of my platform. If elected councilor, I would be honored to work with stakeholders from across the City to create a Disability Justice Framework for the City – and this includes improving access to a more reliable rural ParaTranspo fleet. I would make sure to advocate for not only more reliable service for rural folks using ParaTranspo but also an increase to the fleet of ParaTranspo buses. We also need to make the booking services more accessible and user-friendly to people with disabilities.

 


 

Question 5

Funding for public transit in Ottawa relies heavily on fares from passengers. If ridership levels remain low because of the COVID-19 pandemic, what alternative and sustainable funding models would you propose to ensure that public transit continues to satisfy the needs of riders and address the challenge of climate change? / Le financement du transport en commun à Ottawa dépend fortement des tarifs des passagers. Si les niveaux d'achalandage restent faibles en raison de la pandémie du COVID-19, quels modèles de financement alternatifs et durables proposeriez-vous pour garantir que le transport en commun continue de répondre aux besoins des usagers et de relever le défi du changement climatique?

Yvette Ashiri

I think that the automatic reaction from leadership at City Hall has been to increase transit fares across the board because of operational loses because of COVID-19. In reality, this does not have to happen. We can keep fares at a reasonable level at least for the foreseeable future as we are getting significant funding to make up for the lack of revenue at the farebox from the provincial and federal governments through the Safe Restart Agreement.

As City Councilor, I would be a champion for permanent federal and provincial funding for our municipality. There is still a significant amount of people who use our transit system, including front-line workers who are, at times, putting their lives on the line. I do not want to let them down and offer an expensive, subpar transit system.

Mark Scharfe

The cost of using buses in areas where the ridership will not support it will have to be cut back.....obviously.....Climate change.......The diesel engines that are built now are very fuel efficient. These engines are as efficient as can be obtained, at this time, to address climate change.

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From #Autowa to Healthy Streets: A Webinar with Lucy Saunders – October 7th

The Healthy Transportation Coalition is hosting a webinar called “From #Autowa to Healthy Streets” to discuss healthy streets.

This webinar is free.

It will take place on Wednesday, October 7th from 12PM to 1:30 PM

 

To register, click on this link: register for webinar

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Transit users missing out on Gatineau Park shuttle

For much of the year, Gatineau Park remains so close, yet so far, for many in our region, especially those who rely on public transit to get around. While the park is considered to be on the doorsteps of many, the lack of access for transit users represents a disappointing policy choice for various levels of government that otherwise encourage us to get outdoors, stay active and to reduce stress levels by spending time in nature.

Today, the National Capital Commission (NCC) decided that it would cancel its Fall Rhapsody shuttle service for the entire fall season due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases around the region. This follows a previous one week suspension of service announced last week. The Fall Rhapsody shuttles represent one of the only ways for those who do not own or have access to a car to access Gatineau Park and to enjoy the splendor of its trails, lookouts and picnic areas. The lack of public transit within the park, and to many NCC trails within the Greenbelt, means that many who would love to spend time outdoors in nature do not have the chance to do so. While there has been unprecedented access for active transit users (e.g., cyclists, runners, hikers, etc.) this summer to both Gatineau Park and the NCC parkways, these modes leave behind many, especially persons with disabilities and those who find these destinations to be too far to easily access by active transit.

While safety during the pandemic is certainly an underlying concern, the NCC’s website indicates that safety measures including physical distancing and masks had been considered and were planned for the shuttles. The NCC’s decision to allow access to cars but not to shuttle buses that provide access to low income individuals, persons with disabilities and those who rely on transit is a sad move and further restricts access to the outdoors for those who are often forgotten in public policy. Instead of restricting the park to automobile users, more just and equitable solutions can be found, such as requiring pre-registration for the shuttle, reducing crowding and distancing by adding additional trips and longer service hours, or adding shuttle trips at off-peak times to reduce crowding at lookouts and attractions. Safety during COVID-19 is important, but so is allowing equitable access to NCC parks and attractions for everyone.

 

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Cumberland Byelection - let's meet the candidates!

Earlier this month, we sent five questions about transit to the ten (10) candidates running for the empty Cumberland Ward seat. We received responses from three (3) candidates and are pleased to share them here. / Au début de ce mois, nous avons envoyé cinq questions sur le transport en commun aux dix (10) candidats qui se présentent pour le siège vacant du Cumberland. Nous avons reçu les réponses de trois (3) candidats et sommes heureux de les partager ici. 

If you want to reach out directly to any of these candidates with follow-up questions, you can find links to their websites and email addresses on the City of Ottawa byelection site. / Si vous souhaitez contacter directement l'un de ces candidats pour leur poser des questions complémentaires, vous trouverez des liens vers leurs sites web et leurs adresses électroniques sur le site des élections partielles de la ville d'Ottawa.

 


Question 1

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing public transit in Cumberland Ward? / À votre avis, quel est le plus grand défi concernant le transport en commun dans le quartier Cumberland?

 

Lyse-Pascale Inamuco (Website)

At the moment, the biggest challenge is the frequency and reliability of public transit services in the ward. There are new developments and neighbourhoods in South Orleans which need better connections to the LRT. A dedicated and reliable Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system that connects these areas would do much to get more people to take public transit and help reduce road traffic. As well, we need to do more to connect residents in more rural areas with public transit. We need to ensure that OC Transpo services are equitable, accessible, and safe for all residents. / Le plus grand défi est la fréquence et la fiabilité des services de transport public dans le quartier. Il y a de nouveaux développements et de nouveaux quartiers dans le sud d'Orléans qui ont besoin de meilleures connexions avec le train léger. Un système de transport rapide par bus dédié et fiable qui relie ces zones contribuerait grandement à inciter davantage de personnes à prendre les transports en commun et à réduire le trafic routier. De plus, nous devons faire davantage pour relier les habitants des zones plus rurales aux transports en commun. Nous devons veiller à ce que les services d'OC Transpo soient équitables, accessibles et sécuritaires pour tous les résidents.

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Catherine Kitts (Website)

Currently, the largest issue facing transit in Cumberland Ward is access and reliability—access to reliable routes and access to infrastructure that can carry enhanced routes. / En ce moment, l’enjeu le plus important auquel fait face le Quartier de Cumberland est l’accès et la fiabilité – accès à des routes fiables et accès à des infrastructures qui peuvent supporter des parcours bonifiés

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Craig MacAulay (website)

Convincing someone like me to use transit. I’m affluent enough to own my own private car and a house in the suburbs so no way am I taking public transit (even on free days for seniors) unless you provide me with a carrot (or hit me with a big stick). If I need to go downtown or visit my friends in Cumberland and Orleans wards OF COURSE I’ll take my car if I can’t go by bike. I don’t have to pay for my pollution since the carbon tax is so insignificant. I can usually park for free steps from my destination. Dishonest #WatsonClub politicians and corrupt provincial politicians are expanding roads for me as we speak. Hit me in the pocketbook if you want to save what’s left of the planet. Maybe start with looking at a congestion tax, doubling the price of gas, no more free parking on public space and an end to developer-funded corruption at City Hall? Fair elections would do the trick but there’s not much chance of that happening. Ranked-choice voting anyone?

 


Question 2

The launch of Ottawa’s new Light Rail Transit (LRT) system has been plagued by issues. If elected, what steps would you take to fix the current LRT system, and prevent the same thing from happening with Stage 2? / Le lancement du nouveau système de train léger sur rail (TLR) d’Ottawa a été entaché de nombreux problèmes. Si vous êtes élu(e), quelles mesures prendriez-vous pour réparer le système TLR actuel et éviter des problèmes similaires avec l'étape 2?

 

Catherine Kitts (Website)

The first stage of LRT was a failure in terms of accountability, reliability and communication. While the city and RTG fought over responsibility, it is transit users who have suffered.The reason we are in the situation we find ourselves in with light rail is that we have a broken procurement process. We allowed a bid that failed the minimum technical score to move forward in the process; that should not happen. For Stage 2, I will demand a longer testing period and an extended period for parallel service during the launch. I will also ensure there is greater public consultation for the realignment of transit routes to the LRT hubs. In speaking with residents, I know many of them are just as unimpressed with the reliability of our bus service as they are with the LRT. It is certainly an interesting time to be commenting on transit, as there is so much uncertainty as to whether working from home will become a more common practice. If so, it will have major impacts on traffic and public transit for the city as a whole. / La première étape du TLR était un échec en termes de fiabilité, de communication et de responsabilité. Alors que ville et GTR se disputaient au sujet de la responsabilité, ce sont les usagers du service qui en ont souffert. Nous sommes dans cette situation avec le train léger parce-que nous avons un système d’appel d’offre déficient. Nous avons permis une offre qui n’avait pas obtenue le pointage technique minimal afin se qualifier, ce qui ne devrait pas se produire. Pour l’Étape 2, je demanderai une période d’examen prolongé et une période étendue d’offre de service parallèle durant le lancement. Je m’assurerai aussi que la consultation publique soit accrue pour le réalignement des itinéraires vers les centres de transit. En ayant parlé aux résidents, je sais que nombreux sont ceux qui sont autant mécontents avec la fiabilité du service d’autobus qu’avec le TLR. Il s’agit d’un moment intéressant pour parler de transit, alors qu’il existe tant d’incertitude quant à futur du travail à domicile. Si cette pratique devient plus courante, elle aura un impact majeur sur le trafic et le transport en commun, pour la ville entire.

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Craig MacAulay (website)

Malheureusement il est trop tard pour arrêter Catherine Kitts et le #ClubWatson. Il faudra attendre les VRAIES élections de 2022 pour mettre fin aux magouilles des politiciens corrompus et ceux qui les financent.

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Lyse-Pascale Inamuco (Website)

We currently have a $2.1 billion-dollar system that is deeply flawed. It doesn’t work when it’s hot, it doesn’t work when it’s cold, and it doesn’t work in the rain and snow - something we get a lot of in Ottawa! Like many other residents, I have been frustrated at the lack of information from Rideau Transit Group (RTG) about the state of the LRT. As city councillor, I will demand more transparency and accountability from RTG. If they cannot do the job, then we should consider terminating our contract with them and finding someone who can run this system. I will also push for more oversight with Stage 2, to ensure that the problems we encountered with Stage 1 aren’t repeated. Finally, I will advocate for better communication to the public about any issues with the construction of Stage 2, and how those issues will be fixed. / Nous disposons actuellement d'un système de 2,1 milliards de dollars qui est profondément défectueux. Il ne fonctionne pas quand il fait chaud, il ne fonctionne pas quand il fait froid, et il ne fonctionne pas sous la pluie et la neige - ce que nous avons beaucoup à Ottawa ! Comme beaucoup d'autres résidents, j'ai été frustrée par le manque d'information du Rideau Transit Group (RTG). En tant que conseillère municipale, j'exigerai plus de transparence et de responsabilité de la part du RTG. S'ils ne peuvent pas faire le travail, alors nous devrions envisager de mettre fin à notre contrat avec eux et de trouver une compagnie qui puisse gérer ce système. J'insisterai également pour que la phase 2 soit davantage supervisée, afin de garantir que les problèmes rencontrés lors de la phase 1 ne se reproduisent pas. Enfin, je plaiderai en faveur d'une meilleure communication avec le public sur tous les problèmes liés à la construction de la phase 2 et sur la manière dont ces problèmes seront résolus.

 


Question 3

Do you support the City of Ottawa’s Option 7 as part of the Brian Coburn Extension? If not, which option do you prefer? / Êtes-vous d’accord avec l’option 7 de la Ville d’Ottawa dans le cadre du prolongement Brian Coburn? Sinon, quelle option préférez-vous?

 

Craig MacAulay (website)

Watson Club councillors are pushing hard for the cheapest option but the NCC has valid concerns about the environmental damage that Option 7 will cause. Which option is preferred by the Ottawa Transit Riders, Ecology Ottawa and the independent politicians on council? J’ai hâte de lire les réponses des neuf autres candidats.

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Lyse-Pascale Inamuco (Website)

I support Option 7. We desperately need a dedicated BRT system that connects neighbourhoods in South Orleans with the LRT. The extension of Brian Coburn allows us to do this, by connecting the new Park and Ride at Chapel Hill with Blair Station. A fast, reliable, and accessible BRT will do much to reduce traffic congestion along the streets of South Orleans. As city councillor, I will also push to make sure that the Option 7 incorporates cycling networks and pedestrian infrastructure into the plan from the start, and not included as an afterthought. / Je suis favorable à l'option 7. Nous avons désespérément besoin d'un système de transport rapide par bus dédié qui relie les quartiers du sud d'Orléans au train léger. L'extension de Brian Coburn nous permet de le faire, en reliant le nouveau Parc-o-bus de Chapel Hill à la station Blair. Un système de transport rapide par bus rapide, fiable et accessible fera beaucoup pour réduire les embouteillages dans les rues d'Orléans Sud. En tant que conseillère municipale, je veillerai également à ce que l'option 7 intègre, dès le départ, les réseaux cyclables et les infrastructures pour les piétons dans le plan.

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Catherine Kitts (Website)

I attended the open house about its progress back in November 2019 and heard from elected officials and the community that Option 7 is preferred. This is the option I am supporting. I understand the NCC's environmental concerns about Option 7, and I want to re-engage them in the discussion to find a way forward. Option 7 has the lowest fragmentation of natural habitats, and I believe that city staff and the NCC can work together to negate any impact on species at risk. The reality is that the current road infrastructure cannot handle the increase in development in the area. It is also crazy to me that the Environmental Assessment for this project was completed in 1999, and we are still working to make it happen. We need additional arterial routes to connect Cumberland Ward with the rest of the city that do not rely on North-South connections. Should I get elected on October 5, this is one of the key issues I want to get to work on, as you can see from my website where I specifically named this project. https://www.catherinekitts.ca/issues / Au mois de Novembre 2019, j’ai assisté à des portes-ouvertes concernant son progrès oû des élus et membres de la communauté ont expliqué que l’Option 7 est préférée. Ceci est donc l’option que je supporte. Je comprends les préoccupations environnementales de la CCN au sujet de l’Option 7, je veux les ré-impliquer dans la discussion afin de trouver un moyen d’aller de l’avant. L’Option 7 à la plus basse fragmentation des habitats naturels et je crois que les employés municipaux et la CCN peuvent travailler ensemble afin de contrer les impacts négatifs potentiels auprès des espèces menacées. La réalité est que l’infrastructure routière actuelle ne peut pas supporter le développement accru du secteur. Il m’apparaît fou que l’Évaluation Environnementale de ce projet à été complétée en 1999 et que nous travaillons toujours à le réaliser. Nous avons besoin d’artères routières additionnelles afin de connecter Cumberland au reste de la ville, sans compter sur les connections Nord-Sud. Si je suis élue le 5 Octobre, ceci est une des enjeux clés sur lesquels je désire travailler, j’ai d’ailleurs spécifiquement mentionné ce projet sur mon site-web : https://www.fr.catherinekitts.ca/issues

 


Question 4

ParaTranspo’s rural service is increasingly expensive and unreliable. How would you ensure that rural ParaTranspo users in Cumberland Ward have access to reliable public transit? / Le service rural de ParaTranspo est de plus en plus coûteux et peu fiable. Comment vous assureriez-vous que les utilisateurs ruraux de ParaTranspo du quartier Cumberland ont accès à un transport en commun fiable?

 

Lyse-Pascale Inamuco (Website)

We need to ensure that rural residents who use ParaTranspo have access to a safe, reliable, and affordable service. As city councillor, I would bring together ParaTranspo users in the rural areas of Cumberland Ward, OC Transpo, the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre, the Orléans-Cumberland community resource centre and other community organizations to discuss how we can improve service and reliability. I would also ensure there are clear timelines on any decisions or proposals to make ParaTranspo better for rural residents. As well, I would ensure that we bring in more voices of accessibility advocates in the rural areas as we continue with developing the city’s Transportation Master Plan. / Nous devons veiller à ce que les habitants des zones rurales qui utilisent ParaTranspo aient accès à un service sécuritaire, fiable et abordable En tant que conseillère municipale, je rassemblerais les utilisateurs de ParaTranspo dans les zones rurales du quartier de Cumberland, OC Transpo, le Centre de ressources de l'est d'Ottawa, le Centre de ressources Orléans-Cumberland et d'autres organisations communautaires pour discuter de la manière dont nous pouvons améliorer le service et la fiabilité. Je veillerais également à ce que des délais précis soient fixés pour toute décision ou proposition visant à améliorer le service de ParaTranspo pour les résidents des zones rurales. De plus, je veillerais à ce que les défenseurs de l'accessibilité dans les zones rurales soient davantage entendus dans le cadre de l'élaboration du plan directeur des transports de la ville.

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Catherine Kitts (Website)

As part of the Last-Mile study that is ongoing and the public consultation for the realignment of transit to the hub and spoke model with Phase 2 LRT, I want to see a greater emphasis on on-demand transit, including accessibility that ParaTranspo can offer. This type of service can and should be enhanced to serve the rural communities and connect to our high-speed networks. / Au sein de l’étude «Last-Mile» en cours, et la consultation publique pour le réalignement du transit vers le modèle «hub and spoke» avec l’Étape 2 du TRL, je désire vois plus d’emphase sur les services de transport sur demande, incluant l’accessibilité offerte par ParaTranspo. Ce type de service peut, et devrait, être bonifié afin de desservir les communautés rurales et connecter au réseau à grande vitesse.

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Craig MacAulay (website)

ParaTranspo users across the entire city get the short end of the stick but it’s especially bad in rural areas. A simple solution is to end the #WatsonClub’s stranglehold on power and make public transit a bigger priority than kowtowing to the developers and expanding the urban boundary. Mais il faudra attendre les VRAIES élections de 2022 pour le faire.

 


Question 5

Funding for public transit in Ottawa relies heavily on fares from passengers. If ridership levels remain low because of the COVID-19 pandemic, what alternative and sustainable funding models would you propose to ensure that public transit continues to satisfy the needs of riders and address the challenge of climate change? / Le financement du transport en commun à Ottawa dépend fortement des tarifs des passagers. Si les niveaux d'achalandage restent faibles en raison de la pandémie du COVID-19, quels modèles de financement alternatifs et durables proposeriez-vous pour garantir que le transport en commun continue de répondre aux besoins des usagers et de relever le défi du changement climatique?

 

Catherine Kitts (Website)

There are numerous examples of self-funded or highly funded transit networks throughout the world like London and Hong Kong that could be a foundation for how we transform our transit funding model. Combined with enhanced, on-demand, and microtransit there are several options that can create a fulsome transit network whose funding is resilient and serves the population in need of transit. / Tout autour du monde, comme à Londres et Hong-Kong, il existe de nombreux exemples de service de transports autofinancés ou hautement financés qui pourraient servir de fondation afin de transformer notre modèle de financement du transport en commun. Combiné avec des services bonifiés, sur demande et du micro-transit, il existe plusieurs options qui peuvent créer un système de transport en commun qui bénéficie d’un financement résilient et dessert la population qui à besoin de ce service.

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Lyse-Pascale Inamuco (Website)

Traditionally, public transit funding has relied on two sources: property taxes and fare revenue. COVID-19 has shown us how fragile that funding model is, not just here in Ottawa but across Canada. Without recent provincial and federal support, public transit in Ottawa would have been forced to reduce service and lay off drivers. We need to work with provincial and federal governments to find new ways to fund public transit going forward. Cities drive the Canadian economy, and cities need reliable and affordable public transit to function. We also need strong public transit here in Ottawa to reduce emissions and fight climate change. If elected, I will work with my provincial and federal counterparts to develop new funding models to keep public transit affordable and reliable. / Ordinairement, le financement des transports publics repose sur deux sources : les impôts fonciers et les recettes tarifaires. COVID-19 nous a montré à quel point ce modèle de financement est fragile, non seulement ici à Ottawa mais dans tout le Canada. Sans le soutien récent des provinces et du gouvernement fédéral, le transport public à Ottawa aurait été obligé de réduire le service et de licencier des conducteurs. Nous devons travailler avec les gouvernements provinciaux et fédéral pour trouver de nouveaux moyens de financer les transports publics à l'avenir. Les villes sont le moteur de l'économie canadienne, et pour fonctionner, elles ont besoin de transports en commun fiables et abordables. Nous avons également besoin de transports publics solides ici à Ottawa pour réduire les émissions et lutter contre le changement climatique. Si je suis élu, je travaillerai avec mes homologues provinciaux et fédéraux pour développer de nouveaux modèles de financement afin que les transports en commun restent abordables et fiables.

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Craig MacAulay (website)

We need free reliable public transit as soon as possible. Ça presse! There are LOTS of ways to save money if we put an end to waste and corruption at City Hall. For starters I’ll be donating a million dollars that will be spent TRANSPARENTLY and DEMOCRATICALLY in Cumberland ward if I’m elected. You can hear the details of this amazing limited-time offer at https://bellscorners.wordpress.com/cumberland/

 

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Welcome to our new Board of Directors!

On August 22, 2020, we held our first Annual General Meeting (AGM), which had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We'll share some notes over the next few weeks but, if you want to have a look at the presentation and our Annual Report, you can find them here in the meantime:  https://www.ottawatransitriders.ca/agm_2020_resources

During that meeting, we were also pleased to be able to welcome our new Board of Directors! We received eight applications for the Board and so we did not hold an election and the Board was acclaimed. Here are the smart, engaged, passionate people who will be spending the next year working with us and all of you (and the rest of Ottawa's transit riders!) to improve our bus, train, and ParaTranspo service:

  • Chris Hansen:  Chris is one of our new Board members and we're thrilled to have him on board! Chris is looking forward to helping to give transit users a voice and will be focusing his efforts on improving ParaTranspo and fixing the overall bus network; like many of our members, he thinks the bus network should be better and more reliable, instead of being viewed as solely for commuting.
  • Laura Shantz:  Laura is another of our new Board members and we're also thrilled to have her along! Laura is interested in working to make transit more affordable and so provide more equitable access to a wider range of transit users. She would also like to see transit improved overall, rather than the current focus on the 9-5 commuters. Laura is also involved in other local advocacy groups and has a good handle on municipal politics, which will be very useful!
  • Sally Thomas:  Sally is our third new Board member and we're pleased to finally have her formally on the Board, since we've been fortunate enough to work with her on the ParaParity campaign over the last year. Sally is planning to continue her fight for ParaParity, as well as contributing to other goals including affordability. Sally is also vocal on #ODSPoverty and an outspoken advocate for marginalized people.
  • Sam Boswell:  Sam is one of the original Board members and she is returning for a second term (I'm writing this blog so it feels strange to talk about myself in the third person...but I'm overjoyed to be returning for a second term!). She's a big advocate for equity in transit (ParaParity) but is also looking forward to continuing to fight for more transparency from the City on transit and improvements to the bus and train systems.
  • Kari Glynes Elliott:  Kari was a Board member during the first term and we are thrilled she's returning, too! Kari believes that good public transit is essential to making a city livable and is looking forward to spending another term fighting for it. She also believes that encouraging people to use transit instead of using their private vehicles is probably the best thing we can do to fight climate change.
  • Stuart MacKay:  Stuart is also a returning Board member and we're very pleased he's coming back, as well! Stuart has been a dedicated advocate for a new shift in public transit funding, one that involves both the federal and provincial governments taking a role. Working with the #KeepTransitMoving campaign, he helped Ottawa Transit Riders to take a leadership role in developing a national network of public transit advocacy groups...and he looks forward to continuing this work with the new Board.
  • Henry Paikin:  Henry is another returning Board member and we're thrilled, again, that he's staying with the Board. Henry's main interest lies in affordability, as well as continued investment in the improvement of existing service and expansion beyond. He is also focused on fighting climate change and aware that public transit is a huge part of the solution. He's also keen to ensure that continued support for public transit is part of the COVID-19 economic recovery.  
  • John Redins:  John is our last returning Board member and, as repetitive as it sounds, we are so very pleased he's coming back, too! John has been a staunch advocate for the ParaParity campaign and improvements to ParaTranspo and was instrumental in getting the City to commit to online booking. He's looking forward to continuing this work in the new term.

We're very pleased to have so many returning Board members and excited to work with Chris, Laura, and Sally!

Thank you for all of your support and help in our busy first year! We certainly did not expect to deal with a train system that had flat wheels and periodically caught fire, buses re-routed all over the place thanks to construction, AND a world-wide pandemic in our first term but, thanks to all of your support, we not only survived...we accomplished a lot!

This year promises to be as exciting if not more so...so thanks for coming along for the ride! Please stay tuned for campaign committee meetings and other news as soon as we get the new Board members briefed up.

Thanks again!

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