Transit Commission receives updates on OC Transpo’s Canada Day preparations and O-Train Line 1 annual maintenance

A graphic with Ottawa City Hall is in the background. A vertical grey stripe and a horizontal orange stripe are in the foreground with "Transit Commission update" in the centre.

The Transit Commission today received an update on OC Transpo’s preparations for Canada Day, upcoming O-Train Line 1 maintenance activities and details on the successful conclusion of the On-Demand Transit demonstration pilot project.

OC Transpo is the best way to travel to Canada Day events across the city, with free service all day on O-Train Line 1, buses, and Para Transpo. OC Transpo will have extra service running throughout the day and into the evening. Para Transpo service will run until 3 am, with last trips booked for 2 am.

The Transit Commission also received updates on the progress of the bus maintenance plan and annual O-Train Line 1 maintenance. OC Transpo maintenance teams have resolved the backlog of preventative bus maintenance inspections and the apprenticeship program and mechanics training program have been improved. Work continues on a technology upgrade project while also leveraging expert analysis to enhance the preventative maintenance plan. This work increases the available resources and vehicles to support more reliable bus service. 

O-Train maintenance work will occur from July 15 to 28 and will result in a temporary closure of O-Train Line 1 between Tunney’s Pasture and Rideau stations. Replacement bus service will run between Tunney’s Pasture Station and Hurdman Station during normal service hours throughout the planned maintenance period. Regular updates, including signage at stations, will be provided to help customers stay informed and plan their travel. 

Updates on performance and service delivery for bus and rail were also shared. In May, O-Train service delivery was 99.8 per cent and conventional bus service delivery was 98.6 per cent. Para Transpo ridership in May reached 74,700 total customer-trips.

Members of the Transit Commission authorized the closing of completed capital projects and adjustments to the budgets of ongoing capital projects(link is external) resulting in the return of $7.7 million to the Transit capital reserve, $365,000 to the federal gas tax reserve, and the elimination of $1.7 million in debt authority.

The Commission also learned about contracts awarded under delegated authority(link is external) during the second half of 2023. During that time, 96 service area contracts were awarded for a total of $168.5 million. Commission members also received an update on OC Transpo’s budget for the first quarter of this year which shows a revenue shortfall of approximately $10.7 million, and a reduction of expenditures by approximately $4.4 million, resulting in a net deficit of approximately $6.3 million.

The Commission also received an update on the conclusion of OC Transpo’s On-Demand bus pilot project. After a successful trial period, this pilot project in Blackburn Hamlet will end on Sunday, June 23. Results from the pilot will inform future on-demand services, including selecting service areas and enhancing software to meet customers’ travel needs. The purchase of 10 new minibuses for on-demand service is underway.

Recommendations considered at this meeting will rise to Council on Tuesday, June 25.

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