Archive for the ‘Transit’ Category

Citizen Transit Commissioner Quits

- April 23rd, 2014

One of the citizen members of the city’s transit commission has quit.

There are 12 members of the commission and four are citizens. The rest are councillors.

Crew, a lawyer who works at University of Ottawa legal clinic, has been an active member of the commission. In the past year he worked on a project exploring the feasibility of installing cameras on buses.

As you see, he gave no reason in his letter why he’s quitting.

Since there are no reserve commissioners, city clerk Rick O’Connor is recommending the commission complete the term with the existing members rather than replacing Crew.

Having citizen members on the commission was a test-run for council this term. It will be up for reconsideration during a regular governance review this fall.

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

Via Rail Answers The Bell

- April 17th, 2014

Mayor Jim Watson asked Via Rail officials to come to Ottawa and answer questions from councillors and reporters about the malfunctioning rail signals in Barrhaven. It appears Via has agreed to come next week.

Dear colleagues,

As you know, the City of Ottawa has been in discussions with VIA Rail about the ongoing rail signal issues in Barrhaven.

In recent weeks, VIA Rail has taken a number of measures to improve safety in the area.

Yesterday, VIA announced that it will undertake a high level of activity including maintenance, repairs and testing over the next two weeks at the following crossings in the Barrhaven area: Woodroffe Avenue, the Southwest Transitway where it crosses Woodroffe, Fallowfield Road, Greenbank Road, Jockvale Road and Strandherd Road.

We support the interim steps VIA has taken to ensure the safety of our residents at railway crossings in the City of Ottawa. However, our top priority remains ensuring that VIA Rail fixes its rail signals, as soon as possible.

I have expressed the view that our City Council, but more importantly our residents, deserve a complete update about the work that has been undertaken by VIA Rail to come up with a permanent solution to these issues.

Last week, I formally requested that VIA Rail representatives hold a public technical briefing for Councillors and media at Ottawa City Hall as soon as possible. I offered City of Ottawa space and resources to VIA Rail for such a session.

Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Steve Del Bosco, interim President and CEO of VIA Rail, informed my office that VIA Rail officials are planning to hold such a public technical briefing/panel next week in Ottawa. Once the final details are provided to us, I will ask that City staff keep you informed about the time and location of the briefing.

Our residents need to regain confidence in these crossings, and I believe that next week’s technical briefing/panel will help us begin to move in that direction. Once again, I wish to extend to VIA Rail any assistance they require to hold this public technical briefing in Ottawa.

It is my intention to continue to work with our residents, members of Council, Via Rail and other elected officials to restore public confidence in the affected railway crossings.


Jim Watson

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

City Announces Steven Cripps As The New Rail Boss

- April 11th, 2014

The city has finally filled the position of rail implementation director after the former director, John Jensen, left for Metrolinx more than a year ago.

Here’s what you need to know about the new LRT boss, Steven Cripps

Cripps Memo April11 2014

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

Level Train Crossings Presentations

- April 10th, 2014

Here are the presentations by OC Transpo and MMM Group regarding the study on level rail crossings. It’s a good summary of all the information and the reasons why the consultant doesn’t think buses should stop at tracks.

OC Transpo MMMGroup RailCrossings April9 2014

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

Third Lawsuit Filed In Bus-Train Crash

- March 27th, 2014

The city is facing a $600,000 lawsuit by the family of another victim in the Sept. 18 crash between an OC Transpo double-decker and Via Rail train in Barrhaven.

The plaintiffs are relatives of Rob More, one of six people on the bus who died.

The city and the estate of David Woodard, the bus driver who also died in the crash, are named as defendants. The statement of claim was just filed, so no statements of defence yet and it’s important to note the allegations haven’t been tested in court.

Details of the suit to follow at

Other recent lawsuits related to the crash:

Sharif vs. city, Woodard estate
Bleakney vs. city, Woodard estate

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