OC Transpo makes spring service adjustments

OCTranspo_red_small

I would like to remind residents that OC Transpo’s spring service starts Sunday, April 22. These changes are part of OC Transpo’s regular schedule adjustments, which take place four times a year – April, June, September, and December.

 

Seasonal Service Changes:

 

Rack and Roll Program – The Rack and Roll program of bicycle racks on buses will be re-instated this spring, running through to the fall. The Rack and Roll network consists of Routes 12, 61, 62, 85, 88, 91, 94, 95, 97, 98, 99, 101, and 106,  provide this service on major routes across the City. The majority of trips on these routes will operate with a bus equipped with a bike rack.

 

Summer U-Pass starts May 1 and Winter U-Pass expiresFrom May through August, eligible full-time students at Algonquin College, Carleton University, University of Ottawa and Saint Paul University benefit from the Summer U-Pass, which can be obtained or renewed on campus. Students who are not full-time during the summer are reminded that their U-Pass will expire on April 30 and to switch to Presto for their summer transit. Some students with lower incomes who are not receiving a U-Pass may be eligible for the EquiPass. EquiPass applications should be submitted early to allow for timely approval.

 

Reminder: Paper ticket use ends April 30:

 

This week, Mayor Jim Watson, Transit Commission Chair Stephen Blais, Garry Griffin, Shoppers Drug Mart District Manager, and Annalise Czerny, PRESTO’s Executive Vice-President, were at a announced that Presto card services will be rolling out to retailers across Ottawa.

 

Transit customers will be able to purchase monthly passes, load funds, check their balance, and set age-based discounts at 66 Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstore locations in Ottawa. The new retail locations are currently being rolled out in a phased approach, with all stores expected to have Presto services available by the end of May.

 

When customers put funds on their Presto card at one of the retailer locations, the balance will be available immediately.

 

Old tickets can be used on buses (except at Greenboro Station) until April 30, 2018. Customers can also exchange old tickets towards new fare products at OC Transpo Customer Service Centres until August 31, 2018.

 

Presto cards purchased at Shoppers, Loblaws and Superstore locations will have a new black design. However, whether cards are black or green, they will still function exactly the same way.

 

So far, two locations providing the service have been announced for Stittsville – the Shoppers Drug Marts at 1300 Stittsville Main Street and 5709 Hazeldean Road. For an up-to-date listing of all participating locations, visit octranspo.com or prestocard.ca.

 

For more information and to view the spring changes in their entirety, please visit www.octranspo.com.

STEP Results from March

In March, the Ottawa Police Service and Gatineau Police Service’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program focused on distracted driving and speeding, resulting in 2920 charges being laid against road users.

 

 Targeted enforcement theme Resulting charges

Ottawa

Resulting charges

Gatineau

Distracted driving 167 213
Speeding 956 1584
Total charges during February 1123 1797

 

It is great to see the results of this program in full effect as police work toward educating drivers on dangerous driving faux-pas and keeping our roads safe!

 

The Selective Traffic Enforcement Program helps to raise awareness of easily preventable traffic violations by operating in coordination with the Safer Roads Ottawa Program, a partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Transportation Services Department. The service is committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.

Stittsville OC Transpo Open House

OCTranspo_red_small

I am happy to invite residents to a public information session and open house on March 22nd at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex to discuss OC Transpo service in Stittsville.

The Director of OC Transpo Transit Customer Systems and Planning, Pat Scrimgeour, will be on deck answering customer questions/concerns and providing a short presentation on transit service in suburban wards, including highlights on:

  • Moodie Transitway extension
  • Tunney’s Pasture connections to LRT (Stittsville-specific)
  • Routes 167 and 252 – Describing these new services in the Councillor’s ward
  • Capacity on Stittsville routes
  • Carp Road and Canadian Tire Centre Park & Rides

A representative from OC Transpo Customer Relations will present 5-6 slides on transportation apps, texting 560-560, alerts, and real-time arrivals. Alison Lynch (Stakeholder Relations – O-Train Confederation Line) and David Jones (Stakeholder Relations – Stage 2 LRT) will also be in attendance to do a separate, short presentation on the progress of the LRT and two staff members from Service Planning will be on hand to assist with any questions and to collect feedback.

 

The meeting will take place in Hall A at the GRC (1500 Shea Road) and will run from approximately 6:30-9:00 PM.

Residents are asked to RSVP by email to me at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca or visit https://shadqadri.com/rsvp-to-oc-transpo-information-session-open-house/

I highly encourage all residents with an interest in the upcoming transit changes to stop by and learn more about what OC Transpo has in store for Stittsville! I hope to see you there!

Council Review of Bikes and Pets on OC Transpo/LRT Vehicles

dd_bikes

At the City Council meeting on Wednesday, February 28th, Council approved policy changes and amendments to the Transit By-law to align with how transit will operate when the O-Train Confederation Line comes into service. A vote taken prior to approval resulted in 15 in favour with six opposed.

 

The approved policy changes recommended by the Transit Commission include:

  • Permitting customers to bring bicycles on the O-Train Confederation Line vehicles at all times, except during times of extraordinary crowding (such as those during peak periods), using designated doors and positions inside the trains.
  • Allowing small pets on all transit vehicles and in stations at all times, provided they are in an animal carrier or crate that can rest on the customer’s lap.
    • (Some residents have expressed concerns regarding potential allergens, however, Ottawa Public Health has looked into the concern and foresees no major issues as these allergens already exist in most vehicles)
  • Developing a procedure for busking at transit stations.
  • Updating terminology on rail operations, fares, accessibility and service animals.

 

I had voted against this item from the perspective of allowing bicycles on board at all times except during times of “extraordinary crowding”. I felt that there was not a clear enough definition regarding what “extraordinary crowding” periods look like. For example, bus drivers, cyclists, or transit constables may have very distinct opinions surrounding the conditions of “extraordinary crowding” and the term could be interpreted in many different ways.

 

My office frequently receives communication from residents that buses to/from Stittsville are regularly overcrowded, often leaving individuals standing/crammed during transit or left behind at a stop entirely. Adding bicycles to the mix in addition to personal mobility devices (ie: strollers, walkers, and wheel chairs) could cause space to be that much more limited.

 

I would have liked to see a trial period implemented (for approximately 8 months after LRT launches in November) and the wording clarified before final approval was passed on the amendments. With that said, I am happy that these changes will help to promote cycling as a greener alternative for transportation in Ottawa.

 

The updated by-law will take effect on Monday, April 2nd.

Stittsville OC Transpo Open House

OCTranspo_red_small

I am happy to invite residents to a public information session and open house on March 22nd at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex to discuss OC Transpo service in Stittsville.

The Director of OC Transpo Transit Customer Systems and Planning, Pat Scrimgeour, will be on deck answering customer questions/concerns and providing a short presentation on transit service in suburban wards.

The meeting will take place in Hall A at the GRC (1500 Shea Road) and will run from approximately 6:00-9:00 PM.

Residents are asked to RSVP by email to me at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca or visit https://shadqadri.com/rsvp-to-oc-transpo-information-session-open-house/

More information will be provided in my newsletter closer to the date. I hope to see you there!

S.T.E.P. Themes for March

stepmarch

For the month of March, the Ottawa Police Service and Gatineau Police Service’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (S.T.E.P.) will be paying close attention to distracted driving and speeding.

 

28,603 traffic collisions, 5,767 injuries, and 21 fatalities occurred between 2012 and 2016 due to distracted driving.

 

Likewise, there have been 15,367 collisions involving speeding. These collisions resulted in 3,028 injuries and 55 fatalities.

 

The Selective Traffic Enforcement Program helps to raise awareness of easily preventable traffic violations to help to keep our roads safe.

 

It operates in coordination with the Safer Roads Ottawa Program, a partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Transportation Services Department, committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.

Stittsville OC Transpo Open House

OCTranspo_red_small

I am happy to invite residents to a public information session and open house on March 22nd at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex to discuss OC Transpo service in Stittsville.

The Director of OC Transpo Transit Customer Systems and Planning, Pat Scrimgeour, will be on desk answering customer questions/concerns and providing a short presentation on transit service in suburban wards.

The meeting will take place in Hall A at the GRC (1500 Shea Road) and will run from approximately 6:00-9:00 PM.

Residents are asked to RSVP by email to me at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca or visit https://shadqadri.com/rsvp-to-oc-transpo-information-session-open-house/

More information will be provided in my newsletter closer to the date. I hope to see you there!

Did you know?

Didyouknow

A bus hailing kit is a pocket-sized set of numbered cards that you can use to identify the route you want to board, to approaching bus operators. Large-text and Braille numbers are printed on the cards. The numbers should be held up at shoulder height.

Bus Hailing Kits are available free of charge, from either:

  • CNIB’s Technical Aids Centre at 613-563-4021
  • OC Transpo Accessible Transit Specialist at 613-842-3636, ext 52873
    (TTY: 613-741-5280) or accessibility@octranspo.com

bus_hailing_kit

Confederation Line to Open November 2018

lrt_ottawa_exterior_view1_2013_09_20-1200x703

This week, the Finance and Economic Development Committee received an update on the Confederation Line light rail transit (LRT) system. The Committee was informed that the Rideau Transit Group has confirmed that the construction schedule has shifted due to the June 2016 sinkhole. As a result, the City expects service to the public to begin later in November 2018.

 

I have heard from many residents the disappointment in this later-than-anticipated date and I do share this disappointment, particularly in the delay of how the information was shared and the delay of service benefits. The constractor, Rideau Transit Group (RTG), is under a strict Project Agreement (PA) with the City of Ottawa. Although this newest update extends well beyond the originally agreed upon completion date of May 24, 2018, the PA is structured to motivate RTG to complete the project and deliver the system to the City by November 2, 2018, as the PA is designed to require RTG to potentially absorb significant costs related to interest penalties, equity return, loss of maintenance payments, and ongoing labour and construction costs beyond what they have budgeted. Additionally, the City would receive $1 million in liquidated damages should RTG miss the new date of November 2, 2018.

 

With that said, while November may still seem very far away, I am happy to hear that Ottawa’s largest infrastructure project in history is still slated for a 2018 opening date! LRT will help to revolutionize transportation within the City of Ottawa and change the way we look at travel from Ottawa’s West, East, and South ends, spanning almost 60km.

 

Remember to keep updated on LRT updates as they arise by visiting http://www.stage2lrt.ca/

Temporary Traffic Calming Measures Program Call-out

IMG_8654

As many residents may be aware, the Temporary Traffic Calming Measures (TTCM) program was implemented in 2013 as a means to deter speeding in local communities. Each year, City Councillors are granted $40,000 outside of their annual office budget to implement these measures in locations across their ward identified as most in need.

 

Some of these measures include:

  • Flex Stakes / Cyclo-Zone Delineators
  • Pavement Markings
    • Speed Pavement Markings
    • Slow Pavement Markings
    • School Pavement Markings
    • Stop Ahead Pavement Markings
  • Speed Display Boards
  • Planter Boxes
  • School Area Thermoplastic
  • Community Entrance Signage
  • Permanent “Slow Down For Us” Signage

For a better look of these measures as well as their cost, please refer to this useful document here.

 

As we move into 2018, I have already been in discussions with traffic staff on potential new measures to be implemented across Stittsville but now I would like to hear from residents on their thoughts. If you have any potential locations in mind in need of traffic calming and a suggestion as to which measure might be best implemented, please email me at Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca. While there is no guarantee that every recommendation will be implemented with a TTCM, having a database of locations in which residents feel require attention will better assist me in working with traffic staff to ensure that Stittsville remains safe.

 

For some examples of past projects in Stittsville, please click here.