Ottawa – The Transit Commission today received a report entitled Transit Services 2021 Business Plan and Reporting on 2020 Business Plan, which provides an update on progress made on the 12 key departmental priorities identified in the 2020 Business Plan and identifies the 10 key projects that Transportation Services staff will work to deliver in 2021.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, all projects in the 2020 Business Plan were initiated and are either completed or are nearly complete. Some highlights of completed work include:
- Introduced the ability for customers to renew their Community Pass, EquiPass, or Access Pass remotely.
- Established the Virtual Line which ends the need for physical line ups at the Rideau Centre Customer Service Centre and in the future will allow customers to book an appointment in advance.
- Introduced the ability for Para Transpo customers to register their monthly Presto pass in advance and use it to pay fares, eliminating the need to carry a receipt. The tap function inside Para Transpo vehicles is planned to launch later in 2021.
- Launched a customer trial for a new touchless way to pay fares using credit cards and smartphones at O-Train Line 1’s Rideau Station. A full roll-out across all buses and fare gates is anticipated later in 2021.
- Presented the first Regulatory Monitor and Compliance Officer annual independent compliance report to Transit Commission and Council in February 2020.
- Developed a new performance measures and reporting structure, with the first report going to Transit Commission in April 2021.
- Opened the first Happy Goat Coffee concession stand at Blair Station in December 2020, with the Hurdman, Rideau, and Tunney’s Pasture locations expected to open in early 2021.
- Issued a contract for the supply of four battery-electric buses. New Flyer was awarded the contract and the buses will go into service in fall 2021.
- The Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) and OC Transpo, along with the Ville de Gatineau, have worked together since 2017 to prepare for a new STO bus route alignment through downtown to provide better connections with O-Train Line 1. It goes into effect in June 2021.
The 10 key priorities for 2021 are:
- Operational Response to COVID-19
- Battery-Electric Bus Project
- Transit Fare Working Group
- On-Demand Transit
- Enhanced Real-Time Information for Customers
- Permanent Bus Operator Barriers
- Legislated Improvements to Operator Breaks
- O-Train Line 1 Station Improvements
- Rail Simulator Upgrades
- Stage 2 O-Train Project Construction
In 2018, the City appointed a Regulatory Monitor and Compliance Officer (RMCO) to perform regulatory compliance monitoring for O-Train Line 1 when in operation. The annual RMCO Report for 2020 was presented to the Transit Commission today, and focused on inspections and repairs of tracks, light rail vehicles and the overhead catenary system. The report showed that OC Transpo was in full compliance, and that the contractors (Rideau Transit Maintenance and Alstom) require more consistent documentation to be fully compliant. There has been progress made by the contractors, as 17 of the 23 remedial actions identified in the report have been completed.
An operational update on O-Train Line 1 showed that Rideau Transit Group (RTG) continues to advance through the rectification plan. Train service has been reliable since upgrade work was completed on December 6, and throughout the winter, the improved switch heaters installed on the line have proven to operate reliably in all weather conditions. To date, issues have been rectified regarding the overhead catenary system, vehicle switch heater failures, traction power, vehicle passenger doors, and vehicle heating, ventilation and air conditioning. RTG also continues to progress towards completing the work related to vehicle auxiliary power and fine-tuning of vehicle braking systems.
Wheel replacement continues on light trail vehicles. Rideau Transit Maintenance will continue to perform the daily inspections on the remainder of the train fleet until all impacted wheels have been replaced. The City continues to engage industry experts and will continue to work with the Transportation Safety Board as their independent investigation continues.
The Commission approved a recommendation to move into an agreement with the City’s current transit advertising contractor to expand the existing advertising contract to include O-Train Line 1 trains and stations, as well as extend the contract until all Stage 2 extensions are open. In July 2020, the Transit Commission directed staff to commence a procurement process to identify potential revenue opportunities from advertising on O-Train Line 1. Today’s report outlines that by adding Line 1 to the current contract with Pattison Outdoor Advertising covering bus and Transitway stations, it will create opportunities for additional revenue. By having a single contractor responsible for managing all advertising assets, including those within the Stage 2 extensions, it will result in operational efficiencies and higher revenues.
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