Archive for the ‘Transit’ Category

Watson Points Out Stars On Western LRT File

- March 6th, 2015

Maybe the most interesting part of this email to council from Mayor Jim Watson is where he notes that Coun. Allan Hubley was the facilitator between the mayor and John Baird ahead of the 100-day negotiation period…

From: Watson, Jim (Mayor/Maire)
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2015 4:09 PM
To: ‘=City Council’
Cc: Kirkpatrick, Kent; Schepers, Nancy; Kanellakos, Steve; Moser, John; O’Connor, M. Rick
Subject: Thank You / Merci

Dear Council colleague,

As you know, we announced this morning a historic agreement between the City and the NCC that sets out a recommended corridor for Western LRT.

For years, elected officials and planners were unable to find a solution that would satisfy both the NCC and the City of Ottawa.

Today, thanks to the efforts of the joint working group known as the 100 day committee, we now have a recommended corridor as outlined in the memo I sent you earlier today.

I want to take this opportunity to thank those members of Council who played a leadership role in the committee – Councillors Stephen Blais, Keith Egli and Mark Taylor who served as my representative on the committee. I also want to thank Kent Kirkpatrick and Nancy Schepers who provided staff support to the committee.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Minister Pierre Poilievre for his behind the scenes support of the ongoing 100 day dialogue between the NCC and the City, as well as Councillor Allan Hubley for facilitating our early discussions with John Baird that lead to an agreement on the 100 day process. Lastly, I would like to thank my Chief of staff, Serge Arpin, for providing support to our committee members in their work and helping to move the process along on a daily basis.

I invite members of Council to reflect on the magnitude of this accomplishment. The recommended corridor under the SJAM Parkway will allow the City to one day connect Bayshore and Baseline through the City’s core to Place d’Orléans via Stage 2 LRT and to Bowesville and Riverside South via the Trillium Line.

In short, without a Western corridor, we could not move forward with the creation of a truly city-wide LRT system.

The work of the 100 day committee has also set the stage for strengthening our partnership with the National Capital Commission and I want to take this opportunity to thank the NCC participants in the process for the goodwill and collaboration they invested throughout the 100 day process.

There is still much work to be done but this is a tremendous step forward for the City of Ottawa.

Jim Watson


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

Video: Blais Explains Latest Trillium Line Troubles

- March 3rd, 2015

I can’t imagine it’s been a fun two days for Coun. Stephen Blais as chair of the transit commission. The new Trillium Line service is having problems for the second day in a row. Naturally, reporters were waiting to speak with him after today’s finance and economic development committee meeting.

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

Everything You Want To Know About OC Transpo

- February 2nd, 2015

Councillors and media were on a tour of OC Transpo today and they received a presentation about the business. It’s one of those things that’s handy to have if you’re writing about transit or just interested in the operations. Thought I’d share with you…

Transpo Council Orientation Day en Feb2 2015

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

Nominated Citizen Transit Commissioners

- January 27th, 2015

Council will be asked to approve the citizen members of the 2015-2018 transit commission. The nominated candidates are Francois Malo, Blair Crew, Graham Milner and Susan Burt. Here’s a memo to council with their bios:

Transit Commission Nominated Candidates – Jan. 27, 2015

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

Decentralizing Presto Card Sales

- December 11th, 2014

Not only are Presto cards getting a redesign, they could pop up in stores and vending machines one day in Ottawa.

A Presto report for the Metrolinx board of directors, which is meeting today, says the agency has been experimenting with selling pre-loaded cards at some grocery stores in Hamilton. Transit users can also add funds to their cards at the stores.

The Toronto Transit Commission plans to offer pre-loaded Presto cards in its transit pass vending machines at two stations as part of a pilot project.

As for the redesign, Metrolinx says its new cards will have braille and larger fonts.

By the way, if you regularly fly from Ottawa to Toronto’s Pearson Airport it might be a good idea to stash a loaded Presto card in your wallet. It’ll be much cheaper to take the new rail link downtown Toronto if you’re paying with Presto. Still a good chunk of change, but cheaper than cash.

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