Report to/Rapport au :


Transit Committee

Comité du transport en commun


and Council / et au Conseil


4 February 2009 / le 4 février 2009


Submitted by/Soumis par: Nancy Schepers, , Deputy City Manager/

Directrice municipale adjointe, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability/Services d’infrastructure et Viabilité des collectivités

and / et

Marian Simulik, City Treasurer / trésorière municipale


Contact Person/Personne ressource : Alain Mercier, General Manager/Directeur général

 Transit Services/Services du transport en commun

613-842-3636 x2271,


City Wide

Ref N°: ACS2009-CMR-FIN-0005




2009 Transit Capital Budget and 9-year Forecast









That the Draft 2009 Transit Capital Budget and 9 Year Forecast be received and tabled at the Special Transit Committee meeting to be held on February 9, 2009 for subsequent consideration on February 18, 2009, followed by deliberation and consideration by Council at a subsequent meeting.





Que le budget d’immobilisation provisoire des transports en commun de 2009 et les prévisions sur neuf ans soient portés à la connaissance du Comité du transport en commun lors de sa réunion extraordinaire du 9 février 2009, puis à un examen plus approfondi le 18 février 2009, avant d’être soumis aux délibérations et à la réflexion du Conseil lors d’une réunion ultérieure.





On November 28, 2008, Council approved the Transportation Master Plan.  At that time, Council directed staff to bring forward the Transit Capital Estimates on January 21, 2009 (subsequently amended to February 4, 2009), so that the budget could properly include the decisions that were made in approving the TMP.





The 2009 transit capital budget includes a look forward over the ten years from 2009 until 2018 to show the major capital investments that will be required to build the City’s rapid transit network, along with the regular, ongoing types of capital expenditures that are required to accommodate growth, to sustain the transit system in a state of good repair, and to respond to strategic decisions of Council and to regulations of provincial and federal governments.


In this report, the recommended 2009 transit capital budget is grouped into the following service categories:

·         Planning and implementation of the rapid transit network

·         Normal growth of the transit system as ridership increases

·         Buses – growth, replacement, refurbishing

·         Renewing facilities and equipment

·         Strategic initiatives and regulatory


The following table and chart summarize the forecast requirements for authority and the spending plan in each of these five categories, for each year from 2009 until 2018. Further details are available in the material attached to this report. The authority requirements can vary greatly by year to year, for example rapid transit costs are higher as projects are approved and bus purchase costs are lower when the first section of the light-rail line opens and replaces part of the bus route network. The spending plan is more consistent from year to year, as rapid transit and other projects are implemented.













10-year total 1

Rapid Transit

$12 M

$206 M

$54 M

$1.6 B

$21 M

$21 M

$582 M

$29 M

$34 M

$291 M

$2.8 B

Normal Growth

$6 M

$4 M

$5 M

$5 M

$5 M

$5 M

$5 M

$5 M

$5 M

$5 M

$52 M


$100 M

$56 M

$41 M

$48 M

$45 M

$70 M

$161 M

$57 M

$48 M

$112 M

$737 M


$27 M

$13 M

$12 M

$9 M

$10 M

$13 M

$13 M

$7 M

$10 M

$10 M

$123 M

Strategic/ Regulatory

$12 M

$3 M

$2 M

$3 M

$2 M

$2 M

$3 M

$21 M

$4 M

$2 M

$54 M

Total Authority by Year 1

$158 M

$282 M

$114 M

$1.6 B

$83 M

$110 M

$763 M

$119 M

$101 M

$421 M

$3.8 B

Spending Plan

$202 M 2

$146 M

$138 M

$347 M

$263 M

$300 M

$409 M

$421 M

$417 M

$558 M

$3.2 B 3


Notes:      1. Totals may not add, due to rounding.

                                2. Includes spending, for these projects, against previous years’ authority

                                3. $3.2 B in spending to 2018; $3.8 B of spending to 2021



Each of these categories is discussed below, and details of all of the proposed work in all categories is presented in the material attached to this report.


Planning and Implementation of the Rapid Transit Network


Under this category is work to prepare for the expansion of the rapid transit network as approved by Council in 2008 as part of the Transportation Master Plan. Over the years from 2009 until 2018, it is forecast that $2.8-billion will be required to complete the first increment of the rapid transit network.  The bulk of this work includes the conversion of the Transitway to light rail from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair, including the downtown transit tunnel and light rail maintenance yard.  The procurement of light rail vehicles will also need to get underway during this time to ensure that they are available for the opening of the light rail line. Additional major projects within the nine-year forecast include the construction of the Strandherd-Armstrong Bridge with bus rapid transit on Strandherd Drive between River Road and Woodroffe Avenue and transit priority measures along Woodroffe Avenue between Strandherd Drive and Fallowfield.  Baseline Station is also planned to be redeveloped, and the Cumberland Transitway from Blair Station to Navan Road and the West Transitway from Bayshore to Moodie are planned for construction.


The new authority that is being sought for 2009, $12.4-million, is primarily to pay for the environmental assessments for proposed rapid transit lines and for property acquisitions to protect for future transit corridors and facilities. (The section of Transitway from Fallowfield Station to Barrhaven Town Centre is funded from authority approved as part of the 2008 capital budget.)


The 2009 projects will accomplish the following:

·         Conduct environmental assessments of the downtown transit tunnel and the light rail corridor (Blair to Tunney’s Pasture), the western corridor (Tunney’s Pasture to Baseline), the West Transitway (Southwest Transitway to Pinecrest), the Cumberland Transitway (Blair Station to Navan Road), and a pathway connection from the Hunt Club community west of the Airport Parkway to South Keys/Greenboro;

·         Conduct studies on light rail technology selection, transit-oriented development implementation, TMP performance monitoring, and the Westboro/Richmond Road Transportation Management Implementation Plan;

·         Carry out initial planning and scope work for various transit intensive and transit priority corridors identified within the TMP; and,

·         Allow for property acquisitions as opportunities arise to protect for future transit corridors and facilities as they become available (if they cannot be acquired through land dedication as a condition of development).


Normal Growth of the Transit System as Ridership Increases


In addition to the major rapid transit projects described above, expenditures are required for the normal ongoing growth of the transit system in response to growing ridership levels. In recent years, ridership has been growing by two to five percent each year. Over the years from 2009 until 2018, it is forecast that $52.1-million will be required to expand the transit system and complement the rapid transit projects.


The new authority that is being sought for 2009, $5.8-million, is primarily to improve the ability of the transit system to provide a convenient, attractive, secure, and reliable service for the growing numbers of customers.


The 2009 projects will accomplish the following:

·         Make improvements to the Transitway for improved accessibility and improved customer service;

·         Prepare the new Transitway section between Bayshore and Pinecrest for operation;

·         Install transit priority measures – signals, lane markings, and geometric modifications – on Carling, Baseline, and Heron, and at other key locations;

·         Upgrade several computer systems that support transit operations;

·         Purchase new transit support vehicles – cars for special constables and transit supervisors and a push truck for the bus garages; and,

·         Conduct studies on maintenance and storage requirements for double-decker buses and on future transit priority measures for Rideau, King Edward, Fisher, Hunt Club, and other locations.


Buses – Growth, Replacement, and Refurbishing


The City purchases new transit buses regularly, both to replace life-expired buses and to expand the amount of service provided. Over the years from 2009 until 2018, it is forecast that 630 new buses will be required. Along with the mid-life refurbishing of buses, it is forecast that $737.4-million will be required over these years. Included within this number are productivity improvements and the reductions in the number of buses needed as new sections of Transitway are built and opened and when the first section of light rail line opens. The table attached as Document 1 shows the current plan for the purchase of new buses over the next ten years.


All buses are refurbished mid-way through their planned 18-year lives to keep them in safe and reliable condition. Buses in North America are manufactured to last for 12 years, the age at which the U.S. government funds replacement, but in Canada, the norm is to refurbish buses and retain them in service for 18 years. The actual date of refurbishment depends on the actual condition of each bus, and so the actual work to be carried out in 2009 will depend on assessments that are made individually for each bus.


The new authority that is being sought for 2009, $100.5-million, is to pay for 105 new buses, to arrive in 2010, and for the refurbishing of buses that are mid-way through their planned life in 2009. (The 95 buses that are currently on order and that will arrive for service in late 2009 were funded from authority approved as part of the 2008 capital budget.) If there is any reduction in the growth requirement based on the observed rate of recovery of ridership after the recent transit strike, staff will make the adjustment and will advise Transit Committee.


The 2009 projects will accomplish the following:

·         Buy 42 new buses to increase service during peak periods in 2010;

·         Buy 63 new buses to replace life-expired buses in 2010; and,

·         Refurbish buses that are mid-way through their planned life in 2009.


Renewing Facilities and Equipment


Substantial capital expenditures are required to maintain the transit system in a state of good repair. Over the years from 2009 until 2018, it is forecast that $122.8-million will be required to rehabilitate, renew, and replace major physical elements of the transit system.


The new authority that is being sought for 2009, $27.3-million, is primarily to pay for the rehabilitation of structures, pavement, and stations along the Transitway, work on O-Train structures, stations, and facilities to extend their lives until they are made part of a future light rail line, and equipment and software that is used to operate and support the transit system.


The 2009 projects will accomplish the following:

·         Upgrade facilities and equipment and acquire property at Walkley Yard to support O‑Train operation;

·         Replace life-expired equipment in bus garages and the cash office;

·         Replace life-expired transit support vehicles;

·         Rehabilitate O-Train and Transitway structures and stations;

·         Repave sections of the Transitway and park and ride lots;

·         Rehabilitate maintenance facilities and work spaces to accommodate current system service levels;

·         Replace obsolete software for scheduling and passenger counting, and add software for recording telephone calls in call centres; and,

·         Conduct studies of Transitway rehabilitation requirements for 2010 and future years, including an evaluation of pressing needs before conversion of the section between Blair and Tunney’s Pasture to light rail.


Strategic Initiatives and Regulatory


Some recommended capital expenditures are aimed at improving the quality of service that the transit system provides for customers or at complying with changing regulations that apply to transit service. Over the years from 2009 until 2018, it is forecast that $53.7-million will be required to fund these strategic initiatives.


The new authority that is being sought for 2009, $11.7-million, is primarily to improve communications and safety on-board buses and across the transit system.


The 2009 projects will accomplish the following:

·         Upgrade computer systems on board buses and in transit work locations;

·         Purchase new software to integrate operational data for improved planning and decision-making, to support Para Transpo operations, and to integrate the forthcoming Smartcard system with other City systems;

·         Purchase computer-aided dispatch and records management system for transit law enforcement;

·         Prepare Phase 2 of the Safety/Operations Management System for transit operations;

·         Introduce computer-aided learning for training of transit workers;

·         Prepare emergency and business continuity plans for the transit system; and,

·         Conduct the transit vehicle emission reduction strategy.





The budget is consistent with the following Council-approved City Strategic Directions:


A.  Transportation

3.   Ensure current federal and provincial commitments for transportation programs are maintained, and seek enhanced support for existing and new potential programs.

B.  Transit

3.   Attain transit goals (30 percent modal split) by 2021.

4.   Realize a 100 percent accessible transit fleet by 2017.

5.   Achieve state of the art fuel and environmental efficiency by 2017.

C.  Infrastructure Renewal

6.   Identify key municipal facilities of city-wide significance and implement an effective remediation and restoration plan for these assets where required.

D.  Solid Waste and Environment

 4.   Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20 percent by 2012.

E.   Sustainable Healthy and Active City

 9.   Require walking, transit and cycling oriented communities and employment centres.

F.   Planning and Growth Management

2.   Respect the existing urban fabric, neighbourhood form and the limits of hard services so that new growth is integrated seamlessly with established communities.

4.   Ensure that City infrastructure required for new growth is built or improved as needed to serve the growth.

G.  Sustainable Finances

4.       Seek out new sources of funding (like gas tax revenue).

6.   Achieve efficiencies in City operations.





The TMP update process included significant consultation with respect to the proposed transit capital investment and timing of projects, as previously documented in the following staff report:





Finance Branch developed a high-level funding model that forecasts the sources of capital funding available for transit projects for a 10-year timeframe. 


The funding sources available for transit capital include:

·        Provincial gas tax (assumed not to increase over current levels);

·        Federal gas tax (assumed not to increase over current levels);

·        Development charges (based on existing background study);

·        Transit levy contributions to capital and debt servicing; and,

·        Provincial bus replacement program revenues (assumed to continue).


The model also assumed that the Federal and Provincial governments would each contribute one-third of the funds required for the design and construction of the Rapid Transit Plan, which is valued at $1.971-billion (2009 dollars) over the 10-year period.   


Under these assumptions, the City can fund the City’s share of $1.825-billion of the 10 Year Transit Capital  Plan. While debt funding has been identified to be utilized in support of the Capital budget, it will only be issued once actual spending takes place. The modelling assumes that the debt will be issued three years after Council approves the debt authority.  The following table provides a breakdown of the City financing for the Transit Capital Plan.


10 Year Transit Funding


Revenues – Federal/Provincial


Transit Reserves


Transit Debt


DC Cash


DC Debt


Federal Gas Tax - Cash


Federal Gas Tax - Debt


Provincial Gas Tax - Cash


Provincial Gas Tax - Debt





Revenues from fares and transit levy contributions are expected to continue to be the main funding sources to support transit operating and maintenance expenses.  While rate of inflationary increases are required throughout the 10-year operating plan, it is also assumes that significant operating and maintenance efficiencies and associated cost savings will result from the proposed rapid transit investment in 2017 when the first phase of the LRT is implemented.  As outlined in the TMP, the Investment Strategy may identify additional funding streams that could impact the transit levy.  The results of the Investment Strategy are to be available by mid-2009.





Document 1      Planned Bus Fleet, 2009-2018

Document 2    2009 Draft Transit Capital Budget and 2010-18 Forecast





Budgets will be amended as per Council deliberations and adoption.


PLANNED BUS FLEET, 2009-2018                                                                  DOCUMENT 1




Buses to be Retired

Replacement Buses

Growth Buses

Total Bus Purchases in Year

Total Bus Fleet Size

Buses in Service each Day











































































The forecast fleet sizes required are based on the following:

-          Long-term continuing growth of 3 percent in morning peak period ridership (off-peak ridership does not drive bus fleet size); growth requirements for individual future years will be adjusted based on observed rates of growth

-          Productivity improvements in service design, with fewer routes direct to downtown (proposals will be presented for consultation in Transplan 2009 and in future years)

-          Productivity improvements in bus fleet availability, moving from 83 percent of the fleet in service each day to 90 percent by 2015

-          Opening of the Southwest Transitway between Fallowfield and Strandherd in 2011

-          Opening of the West Transitway between Moodie and Bayshore in 2013

-          Opening of the Southwest Transitway between Baseline and Norice in 2013

-          Opening of the Cumberland Transitway between Blair Station and Navan Road in 2014

-          Opening of the light rail line between Blair Station to Tunney’s Pasture in 2017


Other important background information:

-          Buses are normally retired after their 18th year of service; the precise retirement dates are set according to the actual condition of each bus

-          No buses were purchased in 1994, 1995, and 1996, and so there are very few buses to be retired 18 year s later, in 2012, 2013, and 2014

-          By 2017, the entire fleet will be made up of low-floor accessible buses


Continuing work by staff that will be the subject of future reports:

-          Whether retirement after 18 years is still the best practice with current bus technology

-          Whether the normal retirement schedule can be altered to reduce the numbers of new buses required in the peak year, 2016

-          Further productivity measures which could reduce the future fleet size while still improving service

-          Investigation of the best mixture of different bus sizes – small buses, 40-foot, articulated, or double-decker buses – and fuel sources – diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, or emerging technologies


Future changes to the bus fleet plan resulting from changes in the basis information or from findings of current or future research will be reported at the time and in future updates of this table.