Transit Commission 101

As promised at our Campaigns Committee meeting on November 2, here’s a primer on presenting at the next Transit Commission meeting, including some draft speaking points (feel free to talk on any subject you’d like; the points included below are some of our priorities).

Please share this information and encourage your friends, family, co-workers, and fellow bus/train passengers and encourage them to attend and speak, too...our power is in numbers, here and at City Hall. We hope to see you there next Wednesday...and if you haven’t signed up as a member yet, please consider doing it here! (Note: French is coming ASAP!)

Location and time for the next Transit Commission meeting:

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019; 9:30am (end time is variable).
  • City Hall’s Andrew S. Haydon Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West).

Main links of interest:

How do I get myself on the speakers’ list?

  • To be put on the Transit Commission speakers’ list, contact Christopher Zwierzchowski and indicate that you wish to speak at the next Transit Commission meeting (include the agenda item you wish to address):
    • Christopher.Zwierzchowski@ottawa.ca or 613-580-2424 x21359

Agenda items:

  • Equity for ParaTranspo users (#ParaParity):  
    • Agenda item #1, “PARA TRANSPO ONLINE SERVICES IMPLEMENTATION PLAN UPDATE.”
  • Total fare freeze (#Fight4FairFares): 
    • Agenda item #4, “2020 DRAFT OPERATING AND CAPITAL BUDGET – TRANSIT COMMISSION”; or
    • Agenda item #6, “CONFEDERATION LINE AND BUS SERVICE UPDATE.”

How does it all work?

  • You’ll be called up to speak during your chosen agenda item.
  • You can speak with someone else (e.g. have someone else come up with you and sit silently or split the five minutes).
  • You may speak in your official language of choice.
  • You’ll have five minutes to speak and you can see the countdown timer on the council monitors to your left and right. 
  • You do not have to bring a presentation or any material to share but, if you do, bring it on a memory stick/key and hand it over to the organizers, who will put it up on the council room monitors for you.

Speaking Points

  • ParaTranspo and #ParaParity: 
    • The ParaParity advocacy group is asking for final approval on the testers chosen to test the online booking web form/suite.
    • We want a firm deadline for the start and finish of testing the interim online booking web form in December. 
    • We want a firm deadline and date for the roll-out of the interim web form; the “early next year” noted in the report released on November 8 is not specific enough.
    • We want more transparency of the whole ParaTranspo online booking development process, including delays and timelines.
    • We want increased capacity on ParaTranspo (i.e. more buses/drivers).
    • We want ParaTranspo to be available at least as long as OC Transpo service each day; accessible transit should be available to those who need it.
  • Fare freeze and #Fight4FairFares:
    • We want fares to be frozen in 2020 as an acknowledgement of the ongoing poor transit service and to help avoid a further ridership decline:
      • Service is poor, we shouldn’t pay more; and
      • A three-month fare freeze is a good admission of a problem but only enough to slow the decline in ridership, not grow ridership.
    • Over the next year, we want the City and OC Transpo to commit to working with local advocacy groups (e.g. Ottawa Transit Riders, Healthy Transportation Coalition, Para Parity, etc) to develop a plan to grow transit ridership, including:
      • Community consultations on any upcoming changes to transit;
      • Improving communications related to the day-to-day operation of bus routes and the LRT system (e.g. delays, cancellations, disruptions, etc); 
      • Making the EquiPass more affordable, accessible, and easily attainable; and
      • Early consultation on phase 2 of the LRT.
    • We want improved transparency, including the release of OC Transpo Annual Reports.
    • We also encourage you to listen to transit advocates and citizen transit commissioners. Some city staff and councillors have attempted to silence people who are sharing information; this is unacceptable. City Council should consider mandating sensitivity and anti-harassment training for the mayor, councillors, and all public-facing city staff. 

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