Released November 1, 2019
Statement from Mayor Watson and Transit Commission Chair Allan Hubley regarding recent LRT issues
ʺOver the last few weeks, we have been as frustrated as our transit users with the poor performance of LRT and the unreliability of our bus system. Following a number of issues taking place this morning, we once again convened a meeting with the City’s senior leadership team to see what can be done to bring some short-term stability to the system and enhance reliability for all users, both on LRT as well as our bus network.
This morning, we approved $3.5 million in additional spending authority, to ensure that staff have the resources they need to increase the current level of service for our transit users.
At our request, OC Transpo General Manager John Manconi and his team are taking the following actions, which will be implemented starting next week:
- Of the fleet of buses that had recently been taken out of service, 40 are still MTO certified and will be brought back into service starting next week.
- Working hand in hand with ATU 279 president Clint Crabtree, Mr. Manconi has found a solution to extend the current service booking past December 31st, which will free up the bus drivers needed to operate these additional buses.
- These additional buses will be deployed on routes that have faced chronic issues since the October 6 service change, such as the 39 in the east, the 257 in the west and the 75 in the south.
- On January 1st, 2020, an additional 19 buses will join the fleet and further improve service for our customers.
We want to thank Mr. Crabtree and the ATU 279 members for their collaboration and support during these trying times for our drivers and customers.
Chair Hubley and I also want to reassure residents that these LRT issues are being taken extremely seriously. Finding solutions to these problems continues to be the number one priority at City Hall – both at the political and staff level.
At next week’s tabling of the Draft 2020 Budget, we will be announcing further transit investments that will aim to improve the experience of transit customers across the city.
As the operations of the Confederation Line are being overseen by RTG and RTM, we convened a meeting this past Monday with the entire Executive Committee of the consortium, which includes senior staff from all participating companies. They have assured us that they are bringing in experts from Toronto and Europe to provide the technical knowledge required to find the root causes of these ongoing issues. They have created task forces on each of the recurring issues, and they are reviewing every incident in order to identify probable causes and solutions.
Mr. Manconi will provide further details on the work that is ongoing to find permanent solutions to the LRT issues at the Transit Commission meeting of November 6.
We are holding RTG/RTM to account for this ongoing poor performance of the system. As a result, and consistent with the Project Agreement, we have instructed staff to deduct $2.8 million from RTG’s October payment. Similar deductions will be made until the performance of the system improves and stabilizes.
In the meantime, we want to once again apologize to our transit customers as we work through the growing pains of launching the Confederation Line.ˮ