Sunday, July 30, 2006

CBC Radio (Ottawa) Confirms: Councillors Were Never Told Critical Ridership Numbers

“Never. Absolutely never. That was never something that was ever brought forward” said Councillor McRae.

Here is a key excerpt:
ALISTAIR STEELE (Reporter): Well, the question could be how many knew about it. None of the councillors I was able to reach yesterday – and remember, many of them are on summer holiday – had ever heard that number 1,090. Here’s part of my conversation with Councillor Maria McRae, who was out and about in her ward when I reached McRae’s reaction I’d say was typical. I began by asking here how many net new riders she thought would be riding the rails when the system is finished?

MARIA MCRAE (Ottawa City Councillor): I don’t have that stuff in front of me now. But what I can tell you is what I think the ridership number should be and not net new riders, but the number of people using that system should be about 43,000 [by 2011]. That’s not an answer to your question. I realize that. But my understanding of how many people will be taking it would be 43,000 and I don’t have the stuff in front of me, how it separates out, who is currently taking a bus, who will move from the express buses and all that kind of stuff.

STEELE: Do you recall hearing at any point that the net new riders will total only 1,090?

MCRAE: Never. Absolutely never. That was never something that was ever brought forward. So, no.

Read the full story here.

North-South LRT Transit Ridership in Perspective

Why the City’s Cited Ridership Numbers are Deceptive and its Proposed North-South LRT Project is Largely Inconsequential to Ottawa’s Transportation Needs and Objectives.

Ottawa is growing in population and, as a result, so is its workforce. Increasing the number of people who get to work by public transit is important because this reduces the city’s road construction and repair expenditures and reduces greenhouse gas and smog emissions generated as a result of transportation in Ottawa.

According to the City’s Transportation Master Plan, between the years 2001 and 2021, the number of peak hour motorized commuter trips will increase by 122,000 to a total of 344,000. The City’s goal, as set out in its City’s Transportation Master Plan and reiterated in current documents related to the North-South LRT project, is that 30% of all peak hour motorized commuter trips will travel by public transit by the year 2021.

Click here to learn what you need to know about how little a role the proposed North-South LRT project will play in this important transit ridership goal.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Practical North-South LRT Alternative

For less than $50 million, Ottawa Can Meet its North-South LRT Needs and Serve Citizens Faster and More Conveniently.

The capacity of the current O-Train could easily be upgraded by a factor of four times simply by running double car trains and doubling service frequency from every 15-minutes to every 7.5 minutes. These would represent sufficient peak hour and daily capacity for IBI’s ridership projections through to 2031. With modest line and station improvements, and single-track extension to a Leitrim Park & Ride, the peak hour capacity of this approach would be in excess of 9,000 riders at a total capital cost of well less than $50 million.

To learn more about this pragmatic solution click here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Concerns Deepen Over Ottawa's LRT Ridership Study

Memo from City Official to Councilors Attempts and Fails to Downplay Concerns Over Secret Results From Ottawa’s North-South LRT Ridership Study.

The purpose of this document is to respond to a memo addressing North-South LRT Ridership, issued by Mr. Rejean Chartrand and send to the Mayor and Councilors on July 19th, 2006. Mr. Chartrand’s intention was to provide clarification on a news story by CBC Radio that implied City staff had not been forthcoming with the Mayor and Council regarding a “small portion” of the IBI Transit Ridership Study.

Click here to download the full response.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Open Letter: Ottawa's North-South LRT: the 1.6% Solution

Little-Known City Ridership Study Shows the Proposed $800+ Million Project Will, at Best, Only Get 900 Cars Off The Road.

The purpose of this paper is to introduce evidence and analysis that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that the proposed North-South LRT project contains fundamental planning flaws, important data omissions and significant misrepresentations. A reasonable person would further conclude that the current plan is neither an efficient nor effective means of contributing to Council’s goal of achieving 30% of all vehicle commuters traveling by public transit. All evidence used to support these conclusions will come entirely from the City’s official planning documents.

You can read the full paper here. Over the coming weeks we will examine and expand upon the issues introduced in this paper.