Archive for the ‘Transit’ Category

Promotions At OC Transpo Bring New Assistant GMs

- September 5th, 2014

OC Transpo GM John Manconi has been looking at his senior management structure since the latest American Public Transportation Association peer review, which focused on safety.

Looks like we have a few promotions with new roles as assistant GMs. Charter, Scrimgeour and Begin were already kinda-sorta in these roles, but it looks like there’s more oversight responsibility now. I haven’t heard of any terminations in the re-organization, but I’m double-checking and will update here (update 4:07 p.m.: Confirmed, no management terminations). Manconi says the current branch managers are being consolidated into the four areas below.

The changes also reflect Transpo’s move to a bus, O-Train, Para Transpo and LRT operator.

(The chief safety officer and light rail director positions are being recruited).

1. Assistant General Manager, Transit Operations Division – Troy Charter

As Assistant General Manager, Operations Division, Troy Charter will be responsible for ensuring that all service is safe, reliable and consistently meeting customer expectations. Troy will be accountable for all bus, rail and PARA operations, fleet and facilities maintenance and lifecycle, security of passengers, employees and the special constable program including the CCTV program. The Director of Light Rail will be reporting to Troy once the successful candidate is selected.

2. Assistant General Manager, Customer Systems and Planning Division – Pat Scrimgeour

In the role of Assistant General Manager Customer Systems & Planning, Pat Scrimgeour will be responsible for ensuring that service is well planned, that customers are supported and provided the tools and services needed to ensure that their journey on our service is a seamless and satisfying experience. He will oversee planning, reporting and scheduling of all services, customer service, call and sales centres, marketing, Transit technology systems, rail and bus control systems and other business support systems.

3. Manager, Transit Strategic Services Division – Jocelyne Bégin

As the Manager Transit Strategic Services, Jocelyne Bégin will responsible for the department’s strategic services, communications, and business planning. She will oversee the department’s key projects including the transformational program for the Confederation Line, manage the legislative agenda, business planning, employee engagement, and corporate initiatives. All media inquiries, public relations and community partnerships will be managed through her. She will develop relationships with key stakeholders, community partners and industry associations and identify innovation, opportunities for partnerships and improvement initiatives for the department.

4. Chief Safety Officer – Currently being Recruited

The Transit Services Department is required to ensure that the City`s regulatory obligations are fulfilled as prescribed in the Delegation Agreement with Transport Canada. Ottawa’s Light Rail system will be the first self regulated system in Canada and with that comes the requirement to ensure we are in compliance with all elements of the agreement with Transport Canada. We are obligated to develop and implement a regulatory framework for both the security and the safety of the line, enforcement of regulations, develop safety management systems, audits, etc. To achieve all of this, a Chief Safety Officer will be hired with senior management authority reporting directly to the General Manager. The recruitment of this position is underway and we want to have a candidate in place later this year.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

All Quiet On Taxi Fare Increase

- August 14th, 2014

One issue that has died down over the summer is the cabbies’ call to increase fares by 7%.

“There’s not much happening on that issue yet,” taxi union president Amrik Singh told me today.

No meetings are being held with city staff and it didn’t sound like anything was scheduled. It’s hard to arrange meetings in the summer since staff are taking vacation. Singh himself just got back from being off.

I don’t think there would be much motivation at City Hall to mull a fare increase anyway. Mayor Jim Watson and Coun. Mark Taylor, chairman of the committee that oversees taxi licences, have said 7% is a bit much.

Maybe it’s one of those issues that will pop up in the election campaign. But right now there’s not a lot of momentum.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

Watson Gathers Input On Bus/Train Crash Memorial

- July 11th, 2014

From: Watson, Jim (Mayor/Maire)
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2014 10:40 AM
To: =City Councillors
Cc: =City Councillors Assistants; Kirkpatrick, Kent; Manconi, John; Kanellakos, Steve; Schepers, Nancy; Bowles, Cathy
Subject: Information Memo / Mémo d’information


I am writing today with respect to the approaching time when all will remember last year’s tragic bus/train collision. In the last two months I have consulted with the families involved to determine the most appropriate way to commemorate those who lost their lives last September 18th.

My desire was to find ways to remember loved ones lost in a manner that all families could comfortably share. I believe that a complete understanding and concurrence is necessary, as we do not want to do anything that could put any one family into an uncomfortable situation at any point in time.

The input that we have received, both written and in discussions that some families have had with Ward Councillor Jan Harder and the Chief of Protocol, Cathy Bowles, has led me to conclude that our focus for a lasting memorial can and should be twofold. There was not complete agreement amongst the families on other ideas that have been mentioned.

We learned that the retirement of Route #76 is desirable and this will be done. Similarly, everyone has indicated that a commemorative plaque or marker of some type would be a suitable enduring remembrance. This too will be done and a location will be determined in consultation with the families, Councillor Harder and Councillor Deans.

In addition, we will be flying flags at City facilities at half-mast on September 18th and there will be an observation of a minute of silence in a memorial tribute at a Transit Commission meeting scheduled for September 17th.

I trust this information will be of interest to each of you. I am sure that it was not easy for the families to consider these matters and I have told them how much I appreciate their input.

Jim Watson


Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

Falling Panel Caused Transitway Detour

- June 18th, 2014

During today’s transit commission meeting, Knoxdale-Merivale Coun. Keith Egli asked OC Transpo management what happened on the Transitway last weekend.

To which some of us in the press gallery said, huh?

Turns out, indeed, there was an incident.

Transpo GM John Manoni said a decorative panel on the Transitway fell at Pleasant Park. Buses detoured, engineers responded and when it was deemed safe, bus service returned to the Transitway. Manconi said infrastructure staff are making sure other panels are safe.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at

Deans To Address Senate Committee On Bus Assault Bill

- June 17th, 2014

Sen. Bob Runciman was with Coun. Diane Deans at Ottawa City Hall on April. 24, 2014 to introduce his bill to protect transit drivers. Sarah Taylor/Ottawa Sun

Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans, chairwoman of the transit commission, will be on the Hill late tomorrow afternoon addressing a Senate committee on proposed legislation to stiffen penalties for assaults on transit operators.

Sen. Bob Runciman was at City Hall a couple months ago to promote the bill.

Deans says she’ll tell the Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs — which Runciman chairs — why there needs to be more legal protection for public transit drivers.

“Our transit operators have a lot of contact with the public and our drivers are not immune to some negative contacts with customers,” Deans told me today.

Deans said “it’s an honour and opportunity” to speak to senators, especially since City Hall has limited interaction with Parliament, despite the proximity.

“It’s an opportunity to effect a message that our transit operators need to be protected,” she said.

Between January and May this year there were 22 assaults on Transpo drivers. In all of 2013, there were 72.

Also scheduled to present are members of Unifor, the Canadian Urban Transit Association and the Amalgamated Transit Union, including OC Transpo bus driver Suzanne Burgess, who shared her story in April about being assaulted.

Follow City Hall reporter Jon Willing on Twitter at @JonathanWilling and at