The LRT suffers another breakdown

On Monday, an LRT train derailed near Tunney’s Pasture as it was on its way to the maintenance yard. There were no passengers on board and no-one was hurt. It will take several days for the damaged train to be removed from the tracks and for all other trains to be inspected.

CTV: LRT service to remain suspended until the weekend following minor derailment 

CBC: TSB investigating after problem with train's axle halts LRT service 

Radio-Canada : Pas de reprise du service avant vendredi ou samedi sur la ligne 1 de l'O-Train

The Ottawa Transit Riders group is dismayed at this latest problem with the LRT. When it works, the LRT is fast, quiet, clean, and efficient. Keeping in mind the climate emergency, public transit remains one of the best tools the city has to encourage people to get out of their cars.

However, the LRT has been unreliable and plagued with issues.

It is hard to advocate for transit when the flagship train has such a poor reputation.

The Ottawa Transit Riders is calling for greater openness and transparency – about the procurement process and about any details about the trains. What are our options moving forward?

And we call on the city to focus on improving the quality, reliability, and affordability of the rest of the transit system. People who currently use transit deserve a high quality system. The city should be planning a campaign to encourage people who are not regular riders to try transit – but ONLY if the city can offer good reliable service.

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Lundi, un train léger sur rail a déraillé près de Tunney's Pasture alors qu'il se dirigeait vers le chantier d'entretien. Il n'y avait aucun passager à bord et personne n'a été blessé. Il faudra plusieurs jours pour que le train endommagé soit retiré des voies et que tous les autres trains soient inspectés.

CTV: LRT service to remain suspended until the weekend following minor derailment 

CBC: TSB investigating after problem with train's axle halts LRT service 

Radio-Canada : Pas de reprise du service avant vendredi ou samedi sur la ligne 1 de l'O-Train

Le groupe des usagers de transport en commun d'Ottawa est consterné par ce dernier problème avec le TLR. Lorsqu'il fonctionne, le TLR est rapide, silencieux, propre et efficace. Compte tenu de l'urgence climatique, le transport en commun demeure l'un des meilleurs outils dont dispose la ville pour encourager les gens à sortir de leur voiture.

Cependant, le TLR n'est pas fiable et connaît de nombreux problèmes.

Il est difficile de plaider en faveur du transport en commun lorsque le train phare a une si mauvaise réputation.

Le groupe des usagers du transport en commun d'Ottawa demandent une plus grande ouverture et une plus grande transparence - au sujet du processus d'approvisionnement et de tous les détails concernant les trains. Quelles sont nos options pour l'avenir ?

Et nous demandons à la ville de se concentrer sur l'amélioration de la qualité, de la fiabilité et de l'abordabilité du reste du système de transport en commun. Les personnes qui utilisent actuellement les transports en commun méritent un système de haute qualité. La ville devrait planifier une campagne pour encourager les personnes qui ne sont pas des usagers réguliers à essayer le transport en commun - mais SEULEMENT si la ville peut offrir un bon service fiable.

 

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How do we know if transit is meeting our needs?

OC Transpo has announced that it will be measuring specific indicators and reporting on whether the service is adequate.

We are pleased to hear this. Following on our previous observation, you only value what you can count. Anecdotal stories of overcrowded buses and unreliable service carry less weight than hard data.

Sadly, we have not been asked our opinion on what indicators we want measured.

For me personally, I’d like accurate and timely communication about buses. I want to know how often successive buses are cancelled, leaving huge gaps in service. I want to know how often the same bus routes are overcrowded, I want to know which trains are having mechanical problems …

What matters to you? Safety issues? Room for mobility devices and strollers? Bike racks?

We plan on conducting a survey of our members on what indicators matter most to people who use public transit.

Take some time to ponder … what aspects of public transit really matter?

Here is a very interesting article about measuring how much access a person has to services (schools, shops, doctor’s offices, etc.) within a 45 minute period.

Basics: Access, or the Wall Around Your Life — Human Transit

 

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OC Transpo a annoncé qu'elle mesurera des indicateurs spécifiques et qu'elle rendra compte de l'adéquation du service.

Nous sommes heureux de l'entendre. Pour faire suite à notre observation précédente, on ne valorise que ce que l'on peut compter. Les histoires anecdotiques d'autobus surchargés et de service peu fiable ont moins de poids que les données concrètes.

Malheureusement, on ne nous a pas demandé notre avis sur les indicateurs que nous voulons voir mesurés.

Pour ma part, j'aimerais avoir une communication précise et opportune sur les bus. Je veux savoir combien de fois des bus successifs sont annulés, laissant d'énormes lacunes dans le service. Je veux savoir combien de fois les mêmes lignes de bus sont surchargées, je veux savoir quels trains ont des problèmes mécaniques...

Qu'est-ce qui vous importe ? Les questions de sécurité ? De la place pour les appareils de mobilité et les poussettes ? Les porte-vélos ?

Nous prévoyons de mener une enquête auprès de nos membres sur les indicateurs qui comptent le plus pour les personnes qui utilisent les transports en commun.

Prenez le temps de réfléchir... quels aspects des transports en commun sont vraiment importants ?

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New STO routes in Ottawa

STO buses are being re-routed to start and finish near Lyon and Parliament LRT stations.

 

STO adjusting routes to O-Train stations, diverting buses off downtown Ottawa streets

 

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Searching for a successor to John Manconi

John Manconi, head of OC Transpo and General Manager of the Transportation Services Department of the city of Ottawa has announced his retirement.

The city faces a momentous decision when choosing a successor. City staff are not elected, but they shape the city in a thousand different ways.

Are you a resident of Ottawa? What would you look for in a new Transportation Manager? Someone who believes in “Vision Zero”? Someone who would build safe cycling paths? Dedicated bus lanes?

I’m looking for someone willing to conduct meaningful consultations with residents and take the advice of experts.

The Ottawa Transit Riders has co-signed a letter with Free Transit Ottawa, the local Ottawa transit union, ATU 279, Ottawa Black Diaspora Coalition, ACORN Ottawa, and Horizon Ottawa calling on the city to consider the needs and wants of residents in selecting the new Transportation Manager.

 

The press release is here: https://www.horizonottawa.ca/press_release_manconi_replacement

Want to get involved? Email the Ottawa Transit Riders at [email protected]

(Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.)

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John Manconi, directeur d'OC Transpo et directeur général de la Direction générale des transports de la ville d'Ottawa, a annoncé son départ à la retraite.

La ville est confrontée à une décision capitale dans le choix de son successeur. Les employés de la ville ne sont pas élus, mais ils façonnent la ville de mille façons différentes.

Êtes-vous un résident d'Ottawa ? Quelles sont les caractéristiques que vous espérez trouver chez un nouveau directeur des transports ? Quelqu'un qui croit en la « Vision zéro » ? Quelqu'un qui construirait des pistes cyclables sécuritaires ? Des voies réservées aux autobus ?

Je cherche quelqu'un qui soit prêt à mener des consultations sérieuses avec les résidents et à suivre les conseils des experts.

Le groupe des usagers du transport en commun d'Ottawa ont cosigné une lettre avec Free Transit Ottawa, le syndicat local du transport en commun d'Ottawa, ATU 279, la Coalition de la diaspora noire d'Ottawa, ACORN Ottawa et Horizon Ottawa, demandant à la ville de tenir compte des besoins et des désirs des résidents dans la sélection du nouveau gestionnaire des transports.

Vous voulez vous impliquer ? Envoyez un courriel au groupe des usagers du transport en commun d'Ottawa à :  [email protected]

(La vision zéro est une stratégie visant à éliminer tous les décès et les blessures graves dus à la circulation, tout en augmentant la mobilité sûre, saine et équitable pour tous.)

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Electric buses coming to Ottawa

The Ottawa Transit Riders group has long argued that public transit is both an essential service that addresses equity in our communities AND a key tool in our battle against climate change.

We are excited to hear Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna’s announcement today that the Canada Infrastructure Bank is promising a $400-million loan to the City of Ottawa to buy 450 electric buses by 2027.

Electric buses are an essential part of combating climate change. They emit no emissions or particulates which will help to reduce air pollution and benefit those with asthma and other respiratory issues. Electric buses are also quiet, helping to reduce noise pollution in urban areas. From a financial standpoint, electric buses are highly efficient and should have lower operating costs in the long run than diesel buses.

This announcement also signals that Canada is moving towards becoming a leader in producing innovative electric buses. A strong and stable electric bus manufacturing industry in Canadian will help to create good paying, high-quality jobs for Canadians and develop an opportunity to showcase Canadian excellence to the world as more cities continue to electrify their public transit systems.

This investment by the Federal government is a win-win agreement.

However, we still have questions. We ask that the city include experts on their selection panel to ensure that they buy the best Canadian-made buses available. We ask that the complete details of the loan from the Canada Infrastructure Bank be made transparent to the general public.  We want to ensure that 100% of our new e-buses are accessible. As such, we are curious when ParaTranspo buses will be upgraded to electric versions.

The Ottawa Transit Riders group is a proud member of the Keep Transit Moving Coalition, which continues to advocate for permanent federal funding of transit operating costs to improve the reliability, accessibility and efficiency of our whole transit system. Electric buses won’t help transit riders if the city continues to raise fares and reduce service.

And finally, the torrent of abuse on social media that Minster McKenna faces for every announcement is unbecoming of all Canadians. The Ottawa Transit Riders group denounces such sexist comments.

We are excited and hopeful that this announcement will lead to cleaner, quieter buses on our streets and throughout our city. 

 

Some media:

OC Transpo sera 100% électrique d'ici 15 ans

Ottawa plans to become 1st Canadian city with a fully electric bus fleet by 2036

City hopes to have fully-electric bus fleet by 2036

 

Some information about electric vehicles from environmental groups:

Plug-in Canada 

Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa (EVCO) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A pretty good bus stop

Just because we criticize the city and OC Transpo a lot, doesn’t mean that we always criticize them. Credit where credit is due, here is an example of a bus stop that is quite good.

It’s a detour route on Lafontaine where there is no sidewalk on the West side of the street.

Look how they have created a safe, protected path for people to walk or roll to and from the stop. And a raised bus pad to make it easier to get on and off the bus.

It’s not perfect – no shelter, no bench – but for a temporary stop during a detour? It’s pretty good.

 

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Il est vrai que nous critiquons beaucoup la ville et OC Transpo, mais voici quelque chose qu'ils ont bien fait. Voici un exemple d'un arrêt d'autobus qui est assez bon.

Il s'agit d'un itinéraire de déviation sur Lafontaine où il n'y a pas de trottoir du côté ouest de la rue.

Regardez comment ils ont créé un chemin sûr et protégé pour que les gens puissent marcher ou rouler vers et depuis l'arrêt. Et une plate-forme de bus surélevée pour faciliter la montée et la descente du bus.

Ce n'est pas parfait - pas d'abri, pas de banc - mais pour un arrêt temporaire pendant une déviation ? C'est plutôt bien.

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Winner of worst bus stop competition

And … we have a winner (or loser).

The results of our competition for the worst bus stop in Ottawa are in. As voted by transit riders, the bus stop at Baseline at Zena is the worst stop of 2021.

 

 

This is one of those stops with multiple problems – no shelter so riders are exposed to the elements. No bench so we can’t rest. Plus, no sidewalk or safe way to access a sidewalk unless we step into the busy road or walk in the grass/snow. This stop is inaccessible to anyone using a mobility device such as a wheelchair and difficult to use for those with strollers.

The goal of this competition is to remind the city and OC Transpo that the whole system needs to be accessible and safe and comfortable.

Here are the runners up …

McFarlane where riders have to hang out in the bushes while waiting for the bus, and Prince of Wales, no shelter, no bench, no bus pad, by the side of a busy road.

 

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to our survey, tweet, or post about this competition.

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Survey on the worst bus stops in Ottawa

Excuse the delay (we had some technological snags) but here is our survey of the worst bus stops in Ottawa. Do you hate standing by the side of the road, holding onto your umbrella as cars whiz by? What about hiding in overgrown bushes? Or needing assistance to get up a ramp because the stop is so low?

Here's your chance to vote for some problematic stops.

We’d like to remind everyone that a transit system needs to be accessible EVERYWHERE – not just in some places.

Please vote! Please pass the survey around.

Survey on worst bus stops in Ottawa 2021 / Sondage sur les pires arrêts d'autobus à Ottawa 2021

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Les pires arrêts d'autobus à Ottawa

Excusez le retard (nous avons eu quelques problèmes technologiques) mais voici notre enquête sur les pires arrêts d'autobus à Ottawa. Vous détestez rester debout sur le bord de la route, tenant votre parapluie pendant que les voitures passent à toute vitesse ? Et vous cacher dans des buissons envahissants ? Ou avoir besoin d'aide pour monter sur une rampe parce que l'arrêt est trop bas ?

Voici l'occasion de voter pour certains arrêts problématiques.

Nous aimerions rappeler à tous qu'un système de transport en commun doit être accessible PARTOUT, et pas seulement à certains endroits.

Votez ! Faites circuler le questionnaire.

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Still talking about bad bus stops in Ottawa

Last week people sent us tips and pictures of some bad bus stops in Ottawa.

What makes a bus stop bad?

Lack of shelter, lack of seating, low to the ground making it difficult to get on and off buses, poor lighting, no sidewalks to and from bus stop. What else?

I am surprised that no-one sent any examples of bus stops in construction zones. I can remember some bad examples that I’ve had to deal with. Remember the stop for the 12 on Kent at Queen a few years ago? Terrifying. Does that mean that the city is getting better at ensuring transit riders’ safety during construction?

We are running this competition to highlight that an effective transit system is safe and accessible everywhere. It does a person using a wheelchair no good if they can get on their nice accessible bus downtown, but can’t safely get off at the stop closest to their destination.

Thank you for all your submissions and engagement.

Voting will start this week.

 

 

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Looking for Ottawa's WORST bus stop

Transit is about more than buses and trains. We should also be thinking about schedules and comfort. We’re turning our attention to the built environment, to whit, bus stops in Ottawa.

We are inspired by a competition for the sorriest bus stop in North America run by Streetsblog USA where the entries are truly … jaw dropping, and not in a good way. This year’s sorriest bus stop is in Quebec, but honestly all the finalists are terrifying and terrible in their own way.

And the Sorriest Bus Stop in North America Is…

It is painful and irritating and frustrating that transit riders are forced to wait at stops by the side of highways and bike lanes and ditches. It’s such an example of how little some cities care for their residents who ride buses.

So what about Ottawa? Do we have stops in the middle of fields where riders are left exposed to our delightful weather? Do we have stops without ramps that leave people in wheelchairs stranded? Does construction block access to a stop?

Welcome to our first (hopefully not last) competition for Ottawa’s worst bus stop. Send us your suggestions … pictures and addresses. Please submit your entry to Ottawa’s worst bus stop either by emailing it to [email protected] or by tweeting it to @OttTransitRiders

People will be invited to vote for the worst bus stop in Ottawa.

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