Kari: So … I hear the workshop was a success?
Sam: It WAS! Lots of really interesting, engaged people.
Kari: What were the main issues?
Sam: ACCESSIBILITY to start with – lots of people with disabilities, some using mobility devices. Lots of really angry people telling stories of being stuck.
Kari: Well, we knew that would be an issue. We planned on having a sub-committee on accessibility anyways, right?
Sam: Yup, but looks like we might need to talk about Para Transpo too.
Kari: Right! What else?
Sam: Cancellations of course – why are so many buses being cancelled? And resources and better information and restoring bus routes that have been snipped (hello routes 11, 12, 28 …). And pets on buses.
Kari: So all the things we’ve been talking about for months?
Sam: Years. Have you seen my twitter account?
Kari: Um … yeah I have. So what’s next?
Sam: Budget consultations are going on NOW – we need to mobilize to get people going to as many as possible. We have members in every riding so we’d like them to go to their councillor’s consultations if possible and we’d love to hear what happens.
Here’s a list of meetings: https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/public-engagement/projects/councillor-led-public-consultation-meeting-dates
Kari: And the transit commission meeting is February 20th so we need to get people there demanding accountability. I want the transit commission to take back ‘designated authority’ and give councillors the power to approve and veto route changes.
Sam: Well yeah. We just had an election where transit was a major topic – pretty sure lots of voters thought that their councillors already had such power.
Putting the public back in public transit!