The return of winter weather this week was a test to our LRT system that did not go well. We saw wires falling and trains out of commission as commuters struggled to get to work. Ottawa is a city of extreme weather; our train system needs to keep up to the challenges and not let us down. The question is why did our transit not pass the test? Now I am seeking more information on the next steps to ensure the reliability of our system even if it means examining our current contract with RTM.
I am concerned with the impacts and repercussions of these setbacks and will continue to question what is being done to fix our current transit system. With Stage 2 LRT coming to our community and across the city we need to know that we have reliable service for many years to come. City Council will need to look at the next steps to ensure that the LRT service meets the needs of our city.
This week at city council the motion I put forward passed, asking OC Transpo staff to prioritize developing a reliable GPS and user-friendly app system on all buses to give accurate information on bus location and cancellations to transit users.
I thank Councillor Mathieu Fleury and a community member for their input and guidance in helping put this motion together. I will continue to share your concerns with OC Transpo so they are aware of the issues that you face.
Transit is an important part of the future-plans for the city of Ottawa as we look at how we are going to handle our continued population growth. Our new Official Plan will be about making decisions on the type of growth we want. The most efficient growth from an ecological point of view is more intensification of housing within our current city boundaries rather than allowing for more new housing construction further away from the city centre. Intensification needs careful planning that takes into consideration a balance of dedicated green space and tree canopy with more housing of all types in our current city boundaries. This is very doable and would mean better transit for all because we would not have to continue to build transit into outlining areas. Ottawa is already one of the largest cities in terms of land mass in Canada. The Official Plan is for all residents and I hope you will join in the conversation.
On Wednesday, March 4th at 7 pm please come join me at the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre for the Ward public meeting on climate change. Municipalities play a large role in how we manage and protect our environment including recycling and waste management as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging the use of transit and electric vehicles. I hope you will join us to learn what you can do in your community to achieve our goals of tackling climate change.