Happy 50th Birthday OC Transpo: THE VOTER


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So why no birthday party at OC Transpo?

OC Transpo was created 50 years ago in 1973 from the Ottawa Transportation Commission which in turn was created 75 years ago in 1948.

Anybody have any ideas why we haven’t had any celebrations of our great and wondrous transit system this year?

Fifty years is a milestone anniversary, after all. Oh yeah – could it be because we don’t have a great or wondrous transit system and there’s nothing much to celebrate? Or perhaps they were worried that people might rember the former  functioning transit system and comparisons would pale to the current OC Transpo? (I was about to write: “I guess there’ll be no souvenir keychains.” but then realised that they’d be worried people would use them for the car keys that are now needed to replace the unsatisfactory transit service).

Instead of shutting the doors, it’s past time that the province stepped in and appointed an administrator to clean up OC Transpo once and for all. I am normally strongly opposed to such actions but we’re at the point where neither Ottawa City Council nor OC Transpo’s administration are capable of getting the horse back in the barn.

It’s time to freeze all work on the various expansion projects for the O-Train unless there are pieces that are within weeks of being complete. An outside pair of eyes needs to go through the whole thing and figure out what’s really going on and ask the tough questions. The same goes for the repair and reworking of Line 1 and the rolling stock. There are too many questions and unknowns about the whole project going back a very long way. Supposedly we can’t be told the whole truth because of confidentiality clauses in the various contracts. Then let’s get someone in there who can see all the contracts and discover what’s happening behind all those doors that have been closed in our faces.

De-Amalgamate The City Of Ottawa: DOUCET

Any intelligent person would stop what they’re doing and re-evaluate when faced with major problems. You don’t keep barreling along doing the same-old same-old in the face of strong evidence that you’re screwing up big time. If OC Transpo and the city won’t do that, it will have to be done for them.

The administrator also needs to have the power to have audits done into the procurement processes and the way the LRT fiasco has been handled. He or she must also review what came out of the provincial inquiry to ensure that it is being addressed appropriately. That would include imposing consequences on the various players whose malfeasance and inept management were responsible for the events raised by the provincial LRT inquiry.

The changes that have been proposed this month by OC Transpo general manager Renee Amilcar need to be put on hold immediately. The addition of new service to cover new and underserved communities should go ahead but only on an interim basis pending a full review of the suggested changes and possibly the whole system. The other announced changes shouldn’t go forward because many of them are predicated on the various pieces of the O-Train working. Until the train has been functioning without problems for at least three months, no bus route that is dependent on it should be put in place. Interim service must be set up so that the people who have been waiting, in some instances for years, have a way to get around in the meantime.

The residents of Ottawa could certainly be forgiven for thinking transit is broken and we now need drastic measures to stop this from continuing over any part of the next 50 years.

The Voter is a respected community activist and long-time Bulldog commenter who prefers to keep her identity private.



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3 Responses

  1. frank fata says:

    in 2020 it was octranspo s 150th anniversary but due to Covid nothing was done. i tried with management, but not interested.

  2. Merrill Smith says:

    I would support this proposal, but is there any reason to believe the Ford government would do it right?

  3. The Voter says:


    They (eventually) set up the LRT inquiry and it certainly unearthed some things that otherwise would never have seen the light of day. I’m not totally confident Ford’s gang would do the best job possible but, on the other hand, I’m absolutely positive they couldn’t do much worse than what OC Transpo and Ottawa Council have done and not done. In many ways, the quality of the work would depend on who they delegated to do it and how much power that individual had to dig into things.

    Part of the problem with the Inquiry was that it was limited in scope and had no power to make any orders for remediation. Mr. Justice Hourigan could only make recommendations. We need someone who has total authority to go in and discover what’s been going on and change it.

    Better a not-perfect Ford-organized effort than the unmitigated disaster we have now.

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