Briefing after Transit Commission meeting
Sam: Well, I wasn’t able to go, how was the Transit Commission meeting? How did your presentation go?
Kari: Ahh … I brought a PowerPoint presentation that went wonky, first the slides started to skip, then it didn’t work at all and I tried to continue while the tech guy was leaning over my shoulder. It was all terribly distracting and I’m not sure anyone heard a word I said.
Sam: Oh dear!
Kari: Not sure that it mattered. The atmosphere was all very friendly, the councillors were all very warm, but no-one with any power seemed to be worried about transit. Some speakers made impassioned pleas to freeze fares. At least one person said that she’d been complaining to the Commission about ParaTranspo’s booking problems for ten years.
Sam: I hear that Mr. Manconi admitted that reliability is an issue.
Kari: Oh sure. He also apologized to a speaker for providing sub-standard accessibility. He’s a very nice man.
Kari: But so what? There’s apparently no risk to admitting poor reliability and inadequate accessibility. The councillors heard him say it and they nodded and went on with the meeting. No-one around the table seemed bothered by the news. No-one asked if Mr. Manconi had plans to improve transit. No-one suggested that maybe after a decade of declining service, some changes should be considered.
Kari: As we suspected, City Hall is not going to lead the way to better service.
Sam: What’s next then? Talk to pro transit councillors about a task force? Get the Ottawa Transit Riders group up and running? Should we be looking at legal options like Human Rights complaints?
Kari: All of those things and more.
For those who are interested, here is my presentation to the Transit Commission.