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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