Transportation Committee

Comité des transports


Minutes 41 / ProcÈs-verbal 41


Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 9:30 a.m.

le mercredi 17 mai 2006, 9 h 30


Champlain Room, 110 Laurier Avenue West

Salle Champlain, 110, avenue Laurier ouest



Present / Présents :    Councillor / Conseillers J. Stavinga (Chair / Présidente), C. Doucet (Vice-Chair / Vice-président), G. Bédard, R. Bloess, A. Cullen, E. El-Chantiry, J. Legendre, M. McRae, D. Thompson






No declarations of interest were filed.




Ratification des PROCÈS-VERBAux


Minutes 39 of the Transportation Committee meeting of Wednesday, 19 April 2006; Minutes 40 of the Transportation Committee meeting of Wednesday, 3 May 2006; and the Joint Minutes 2 of the Transportation, and Planning and Environment Committees meeting of Wednesday, 3 May 2006 were confirmed.



REPORTS ET RENVOIS                       









1.         Results of Sidewalk Pilots along HoLland avenue and Delaware Avenue


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Appearing before Committee to make a presentation on the item were Public Works and Services (PWS) staff Wayne Newell, Director of Infrastructure Services, and Alain Gonthier, Manager, Infrastructure Management, PWS.  A copy of the PowerPoint presentation is held on file with the City Clerk.


Councillor McRae questioned about how staff are dealing with the concerns of disabled persons, particularly those using wheelchairs and scooters, on sidewalk issues.  Staff responded that their review was all encompassing and included those issues.  In response to Councillor McRae’s questions about the affected wards, staff confirmed that Holland is in Kitchissippi Ward 15, and in response to her further questions, staff advised that they have not received any comments from the Ward Councillor, other than those listed in the report.


In response to Councillor Legendre’s questions, staff provided the following clarifications:

·        With respect to the presentation slide that on the application of standards for sidewalks 1.8m or wider that refers to ‘for high volume commercial and institutional entrances, use the “Traditional” standard’, the intent is that when a sidewalk is carried continuous through an access, the type of sidewalk will depend on the type of institution it serves.  The traditional sidewalk may be more appropriate for a higher volume commercial institution because of the varied number of users and the high volume of traffic associated with it.

·        Staff acknowledges that the traditional sidewalk does allow a vehicle to enter at a higher speed, but notes that installing a steeper ramp sidewalk at a commercial access point on a high speed / high volume roadway might cause traffic operational issues if an excessive reduction in speed is required to enter that access.

·        The number 1 criterion in designing roads is safety for all users.


·        In the Delaware pilot, the entire sidewalk was rebuilt, not just the entrance.  The full width of that sidewalk is 1.5m, including the curb component.

·        In 2002, staff developed interim design guidelines for sidewalks, and those guidelines indicate that wherever possible, the intent is to construct sidewalks to a 1.8m standard, but exceptions do occur on a project-by-project basis because of constraints with respect to existing utility poles, right-of-way width, road width, and etcetera.  A strong desire from a community to have a narrower sidewalk would also be examined on a case-by-case basis.


The Committee then heard from the following public delegations:


Alayne McGregor expressed strong support for the new ramp style sidewalk, stating that it is safer for all pedestrians, particularly in icy conditions, including those with disabilities or using strollers, canes, walkers and such.  She read a statement from a disabled friend regarding the problems that disabled persons face with sloping sidewalks, and urging Council to adopt ‘flat sidewalks’.  Ms. McGregor went on to express some concerns about exceptions that might allow for not using the new ramp standard, and asked what those exceptions might include other than those listed in the report.  She felt that all exceptions to be considered should be listed at this time, and moreover, she felt that exceptions should only be made where there is absolutely no other choice.  She also noted there are frequent bus stops on roads near to commercial locations with high volume accesses, and she felt that using traditional sidewalks in those areas might make it less safe for transit users walking to those bus stops.  She suggested that if it is decided that one driveway entrance does need a lowered sidewalk, it should not affect the entire sidewalk in the rest of that block.


When asked by Councillor Legendre, Ms. McGregor clarified that the in the letter she had read for her friend, the reference to ‘sloping sidewalks’ actually was intended to mean problems with ‘roller coaster’ sidewalks.  The lady was in favour of the ramp style sidewalk, finding it much easier to navigate, as does Ms. McGregor herself.  In response to the Councillor’s questions about delineating the slope point of a ramped sidewalk with paint to make the slope more visible, staff replied that it could be taken into consideration but pointed out that it could be costly when you look at the number of accesses along a sidewalk that would need to be marked.  Staff would have to give it much more consideration before moving in that direction.



Catherine Gardner advised that she learned about this project through the Accessibility Advisory Committee and then went to assess the two sidewalks herself.  She expressed major concerns with the Delaware site, noting that the narrow width causes those with wider wheelchairs to slide towards the road; also, since many of the laneways are short, some cars protrude onto the sidewalk when parked, decreasing safety space for pedestrians.  She articulated concerns as well that the slope of the ramp might cause children in wagons or strollers to tip over when a parent moves toward that slope to let someone pass by.  She stated that the Holland sidewalk was better, but went on to point out that the sidewalk between Holland and Scott Streets is a roller coaster area and causes many safety concerns, especially in winter when water accumulates in the hollows. Finally, she noted that public consultation on this project was carried out via the City’s advisory committees, and she suggested that, in future, e-mails be sent out to the various organizations and committees so they could contact members of the community that use these services for their input.


When asked by Councillor Doucet, Ms. Gardner clarified that she prefers the sidewalk with a flat surface so she does not have to worry about sliding in icy conditions.



Linda Hoad felt staff did an excellent job on the project, but expressed a great deal of concern with the standard proposed for high volume commercial accesses.  She feels it ignores a number of Official Plan policies concerning pedestrians and their safety.  She stated that traffic flow on a main street is not the most important thing, pedestrian safety and convenience is, and she does not see that a commercial access poses an impediment to using the ramp style sidewalk for every access on a main street.  She recommended that staff specify the speed they refer to when noting that the ramp style would be used on roads with lower speeds, and suggested that every road with a 60km speed limit or less, bar exceptional circumstances, should have this type of sidewalk.  Further, she asked that staff define their reference to high volume traffic.  She noted that in some areas of the recently reconstructed Richmond Road, there are boulevards clearly marked in red brick and wide sidewalks, and the sidewalks have been sloped from the property line out to the road, similar to the original roller coaster sidewalks.  She referred to the old regional road right-of-way guidelines, which contained a policy that stated where a boulevard is in place the transition between the road and the sidewalk will occur in the boulevard, and she suggested that staff is not following that policy in all cases.


When asked by Councillor Doucet about the sidewalks on Richmond Road that Ms. Hoad referred to, staff replied that those sidewalks were constructed before staff got into the finalization of this pilot study, and staff was therefore following the old standards.  Staff went on to clarify that, generally speaking, if it is an offset sidewalk from the curb (set back one or two metres), you generally can maintain a flatter top surface because you are not at the base of the driveway or the access point.  However, each sidewalk is site-specific and staff would have to examine the particular sidewalk(s) being referred to respond in detail.


Upon further questioning from Councillor Bloess about that area of Richmond Road, staff responded that when undertaking rehabilitation projects, it is not the same as undertaking new development where there is flexibility of design because the sidewalks in a rehabilitation project must account for existing grades, buildings, driveways, and etcetera.


When asked by Councillor Cullen, Ms. Hoad responded that she would prefer to have a policy that ramp style sidewalks be used on streets that have a speed limit of 60km or less, but would accept one stating 50km or less.  Staff stated that it needs to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, but added that generally, a ramp style would be used on streets with a speed limit of 50km or less, and in scenarios where it is 60km and above, where there is opportunity to offset the sidewalk.  When asked by the Councillor, Ms. Hoad indicated the staff response does not satisfy her concerns and that she would like to see the actual numbers put in writing to avoid misinterpretation, particularly as new staff comes on board that may not have sat through this process.  In response to further questions from the Councillor, staff clarified that in the early stages of each project, the Ward Councillor is consulted and has opportunity through open houses and other discussion, to be involved in the design of each sidewalk, as does the public.



Charles Matthews, Access Now stated that about four years ago, the group was invited to a sidewalk ceremony that introduced the measure of using 1.5-1.8m standard wherever possible.  The group is concerned that even before going into this pilot project, all of the standards now used seem to be reverting to the 25mm (plus or minus 10 mm), instead of the 10mm maximum curb they fought for, and the group does not understand why.  He noted that a 25 mm curb causes significant problems for manual wheelchair users, and he feels that the City should be using the 10mm curb and the 1.8 m standard for ramp sidewalks, wherever possible.  He also noted that Access Now carried this story on two different occasions to get people out to view the pilot sidewalks, and none of the comments and feedback the newspaper received, mostly to do with the degree of slope leading onto the road and the associated safety concerns for the disabled, is in this report.



The delegations having been heard, the Committee proceeded with the proposal of motions and questions to staff.


Councillor Legendre expressed concerns about the safety of pedestrians at high volume commercial accesses with respect to the recommended standards and he proposed the following motion:

      That the proposed standards for ramps on sidewalks 1.8 metres and wider not revert to the “traditional” standard in the cases of high volume commercial and institutional entrances.


Councillor Doucet proposed the following motion:

That no “roller coaster” sidewalks be installed without consultation and agreement from the ward councillor.



When asked by Councillor El-Chantiry about the impact of ramp-style sidewalks on snow-clearing operations, staff explained they examined this issue even before this pilot project was implemented.  It was determined that the currently used sidewalk plows would only clear the flat portion of the sidewalk and would not be able to adjust to clear the ramp portions, so that portion will remain snow covered.  The issue was discussed with the advisory committees and the operating staff, and at the end it was mitigated as a concern because whenever the roadway plows go by, the windrow will cover up the ramp and the ramp will be cleared when a resident clears the end of his/her driveway.  This scenario has played out with the pilot on Holland Avenue.


In response to questions from Chair Stavinga, staff provided the following clarifications:

·        At the driveway itself, the curb standard is 25mm and reducing it to 10mm would cause concerns because that increases the slope on the ramp portion of the sidewalk, as it has to drop down a larger distance to get down to the road surface.  It also comes down to constructability because you have to account for fluctuations that occur in the road grades when the final paving occurs so as to ensure that the asphalt does not end up higher than the curb height.  The 25mm allows that flexibility.

·        As part of a project, if there were an unreasonable time between the application of the different layers of asphalt, staff would undertake putting temporary ramps at the driveways to make sure residents could use them in the interim.

·        The intent is to apply these new standards to all new developing areas; this could also be applied via the consultation agreement with the Ward Councillor with respect to new subdivisions that are currently in the approval stages, not just City-initiated projects.


The Committee then considered the following motions:


Moved by Councillor J. Legendre:


That the proposed standards for ramps on sidewalks 1.8 metres and wider not revert to the “traditional” standard in the cases of high volume commercial and institutional entrances.





Moved by Councillor C. Doucet:


That no “roller coaster” sidewalks be installed without consultation and agreement from the ward councillor.




The Committee received Information Report dated 13 April 2006 with the aforementioned directions.


That Transportation Committee receive this report for information.















2.                  OVERVIEW OF Transit Pre-emption Signals - VERBAL presentation



Appearing before Committee to make a presentation on the item, from the Traffic and Parking Operations (TPO) Branch of Public Works and Services were staff members Michael Flainek, Director of TPO, Rob Orchin, Manager of Transit Priority, Thomas Fitzgerald, Superintendent of Traffic Operations, and Chris Brinkmann, Program Manager of Signal Design and Specifications.  A copy of the PowerPoint Presentation is held on file with the City Clerk.


In response to questions from Councillor Legendre, staff provided the following clarifications:

·        Traffic signal maintenance vehicles are allowed to install and use pre-empting traffic control signal devices for the purposes of setting up and testing the transit priority.

·        Staff will not be changing pedestrian crossing time that has been lengthened in past to accommodate seniors or other groups frequently using that crosswalk.

·        There are 34 locations where the technology is in place to detect buses and where transit priority is provided through phasing or time extensions, 15 of which are in exclusive bus lanes, 15 of which are in general traffic lanes, and 4 test locations where the on-board equipment is used, similar to GPS equipment.

·        Legislation has allowed staff to further its transit priority measures; before 2002, staff was using forms of pre-emption and could have used the on-board technology, but there was no legislation covering it.


In response to questions from Councillor Bloess, staff provided the following explanations:

·        Whether a road loop works or not, signal timing still would allow for the safe crossing of pedestrians.

·        Staff has been running a pilot with the Fire Department on some of the transponders, and various forms of pre-emption have been utilised for a number of years already.

·        There is currently a pilot project in the Greenbank and Strandherd area, where staff is looking at putting a GPS unit on the fire trucks with a transmitter that will enable the Traffic Control Centre to know where the fire truck is and pre-empt signals where needed.  Staff is also using an Opticom – a strobe type signal - in the east end for a number of signals for fire vehicle pre-emption.


Penny Leclair thanked staff for this presentation, but expressed that it should have been made long ago when staff was deciding that it would be beneficial to the City.  She stated that many people were very upset about this because they were not informed until very recently of these changes, and did not have the information to understand it.  She asked that staff, when making such decisions in future, consider the feelings of customers using the services, and consider how important it is to educate those consumers.  She also noted that while it is great that this provides the ability to move buses faster, she is not sure it is a cost-efficient benefit or that it is enough to promote ridership.  She stated that the City is using taxpayers’ money and so residents should be able to decide how it is spent.  She also expressed concern that some bus drivers using the pre-emption signals will not wait for passengers they know are striving to reach the bus stop.


When asked by Councillor McRae, Ms. Leclair indicated that she was very satisfied with the information personally provided to her by Mr. Flainek, and had no outstanding questions.  In response to further questions from the Councillor, staff suggested that for better public participation on these types of issues, they perhaps need to be more proactive in coming forward with presentations to give the public and the Committee a better understanding of the various techniques staff employs to safely accommodate all modes of transportation in the City.  Staff also agreed that the best way to allow for that public notification and discussion is by bringing these presentations to the Transportation Committee, after having properly advertised such through the various forms of local electronic and printed media and having notified the City’s Advisory Committees.  Staff further added that it hopes to send an invitation to all Councillors to visit the Lorretta Street Operation Centre to have a tour of the Traffic Control Centre.  When asked by the Councillor if this method of public notification and presentation was acceptable to her, taking into account the City’s limited budget, Ms. Leclair responded in the affirmative but noted that while the City’s website is a good tool, a better means of communication is via the various community e-mail distribution lists.



Catherine Gardner expressed concerns that the crossing light signal is being changed by the transmitters, and she fears some of the disabled may not have time to get off the sidewalk to cross before the signal changes.  She pointed out that the crossing signal varies per location, and that there is a difference in crossing time associated with some of these signals.  She felt that pedestrians need consistency to know how much time they actually have to complete their crossings.  She noted that the report states that pre-emption signals will occur at areas where the roadways meet the transitway, and expressed concern in particular about the crossing at the Good Companions’ Centre at Albert and the transitway, which is used by a high number of seniors.  She questioned whether bus drivers using the pre-emption signal will wait for persons trying to cross an intersection in time to make it onto a bus.  Finally, she was concerned there will be more accidents as motorists tailgate buses using the signals, especially at high volume intersections.  She supports measures to improve transit but stresses that priority is to pedestrian safety.


When asked by Councillor Cullen about the crossing at the Good Companions’ Centre, staff responded that crossing time is adjusted in various ways, where warranted, as specific concerns are brought to their intention and investigated, and they further assured that safe crossing times for pedestrians will be maintained at intersections where there will be transit priority.


The Committee then RECEIVED the above-noted staff presentation.











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Appearing before Committee to make a presentation on the item were Public Works and Services (PWS) staff members Alain Carle, Director of Transit Services; Helen Gault, Manager of Transit Service Planning and Development; Pat Larkin, Program Manager of Para Transpo, and Phil Andrews, Program Manager of Purchasing, Corporate Services.  A copy of the PowerPoint Presentation is held on file with the City Clerk.  In addition, present to answer questions was Richard Hewitt, Acting Deputy City Manager of PWS and Lyn Hunt, Manager of Labour Relations, Human Rights and Employment Equity, Corporate Services.  Before proceeding with the Presentation, Mr. Carle noted a technical amendment to the report recommendations to have the phrase ‘That the Transportation Committee approve and recommend to Council’ taken out of recommendation number 1 and placed before all three recommendations, to make it clear that Council is being asked to approve all three.  He also noted, with respect to the consultation section of the report that the Taxi Advisory Committee received a presentation on this issue on May 16th and they expressed their support at that time; Councillor El-Chantiry, who is a non-voting member of the Taxi Advisory Committee, also confirmed this.


Following the Presentation, the Committee heard from the following delegations:


Catherine Gardner stated that she likes the idea of taxi vans being used by Para Transpo because it cuts down on the amount of gas currently being used with the large Para Transpo vans, but she had concerns about the accessibility of those taxis with respect to larger wheelchairs.  She explained that she took a taxi the other day, though not through Para Transpo, and she was not able to use a seat belt in that car because her wheelchair was larger and had to sit sideways.  The chair itself was strapped down but she was not.  She noted that it is not mandatory for wheelchairs to contain a seatbelt, and she wondered whether staff as a safety concern could deal with this.  She wondered whether the costs of using Para Transpo versus conventional bus transit could be examined when the new contract comes up, noting that in early a.m. hours, riders pay about $9.00 to use Para Transpo, much more than it would cost to use OC Transpo.


Councillor El-Chantiry advised the issue of seatbelts for larger chairs had been discussed at the Taxi Advisory Committee meeting of the day before and the taxi company advised they will be able to provide that.


In response to questions from Councillor Legendre, staff explained that in the contract the City has with Coventry Connections, it looked at the wheelchair accessible cabs and required that all such cabs providing service to Para Transpo be able to remove the front passenger seat so that wheelchairs can fit inside appropriately.  When asked by the Councillor, Ms. Gardner replied that the taxi she used was a Blue Line accessible cab, and she added that the middle seat was removed but she was told that for larger chairs, there is not enough room for them to turn so they have to go in straight and sit sideways without a seatbelt.


When asked by Councillor Bloess, staff explained that the $9.00 fare Ms. Gardner referred to is for rural Para Transpo service, which amounts to 10% of the overall cost averaged out for the various zones outside the urban transit area.  Likewise, the fare paid within the urban transit area amounts to 10% of that overall cost.  Ms. Gardner disagreed with Councillor Bloess’ reasoning that the fares are comparable when you take into account the type of service being offered, the time of day one uses it, and the costs of providing that service.


Donna Lynn Ahee, Secretary Treasurer, Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 279 asked the Committee to re-consider providing an opportunity to do an in-house bid.  She advised they were very successful the last time around, providing an in-house bid that was $7 Million cheaper, and they would like the opportunity to do that again.  She expressed concerns about the number of rides that are left unfilled, and she believes that they would be able to provide more service for the same amount of money that the City is paying out right now.  She also requested that the RFP, when it goes out, include rating criteria that does not disadvantage an in-house bid.  She explained this has been a problem because despite the fact they provided a lower bid, the rating criteria were such that it would not allow them to include certain cost saving advantages, such as GST rebates or the ability to save on dispatch services, in their bid because it was declared to be unfair to private bid contractors.  Further, part of that $7 Million in savings included monies that could have been leveraged from the provincial government, who at the time was interested in providing infrastructure funding.  In total they offered $4.5 Million of real and direct savings and the potential for additional savings through government grants, none of which they were permitted to include in their bid because of the rating criteria.  The ATU recognizes that some councillors were sceptical about the in-house bid in the last process, and questioned whether or not the bid was audited according to the standards, and whether they could actually deliver on the promises they made.  Ms. Ahee assured they could deliver and informed the Committee, by way of example, that in Saskatoon the Para Transpo Services were brought in-house from the contractor on the stipulation that they would be using the same funding formula and package as what was previously provided to the contractor, and they were extremely successful, accomplishing not only union ideals with respect to employee working conditions and contract negotiations, but also providing an increased level of service at lower cost (the same cost to the taxpayer) because they were not making a profit margin and were able to re-invest all those monies saved into more Para Transpo Services for the customers there.  She also noted a KPMG study of ten years ago that looked at the costs of Para Transpo and conventional service and suggested, among other things, that to find efficiencies and to treat members of the disabled community as first class citizens with the same transportation rights as every other public citizen in Ottawa, the integration of services should be better examined. 


Responding to questions from Councillor Cullen, staff clarified that they did not contemplate the possibility of permitting an in-house bid at this point in time because of an agreement that was signed in June 2005 between the City and the Local ATU 279 with regards to how subsequent RFPs would go out.  There was no discussion in that document with regards to in-house bids in the future, but there was a series of elements in that agreement to deal with how the current employees of the Para Transpo Group / First Bus Group, who are incidentally 279 members, would be treated if there is a subsequent RFP, and there was a lot of language around what sorts of requirements would be put in place for future RFPs and around successor rights.  Staff advised that if Committee so wishes, they could come back with a report dealing with the inclusion of in-house bids, but they noted the timeframe for decision-making is rather short.


In response to questions from Councillor Legendre, staff explained that nothing in the process needs to be changed in order to allow for an in-house bid, but that there is a timing element involved as the document has to go out mid-June so that service is on the street for July 1st of next year, meaning that the respondents would need to prepare a package quickly.  When asked by Councillor Legendre, Ms. Ahee responded that she does not believe this to be a problem.  She further added that one of the concerns that will likely be raised, which is the reason the ATU brought this issue forward to Committee, is the need for OC Transpo to ensure that employees who are in charge of evaluating the bids are not also involved in the bidding process.  Staff noted that, in terms of managed competition, it is really quite a complex and lengthy process, which, last time around involved consultants and procurement staff, and making sure that everything was fairly done.


The delegations being heard, Committee members posed questions to staff.


Responding to questions and concerns from Councillor McRae, staff provided the following clarifications:

·        The cost per trip to the City is approximately $25-30, depending on the type of vehicle. This analysis would be done during the bidding process, selecting the type of vehicles that would meet the needs of the customer. 

·        The service has been in operation with the non-accessible cabs for a number of years now, and is actually not the least expensive; the sedan service being provided by First Bus is significantly cheaper, coming in at about $18 per trip compared to $24 per trip roughly. 

·        Staff reiterated that the reason they did not contemplate an in-house bid as such was because of the recently signed agreement, and they reiterated as well that if so directed by the Committee, they could come back with a report to take a look at the figures associated with an in-house bid, to explain the situation during the last process and to look into the experience in Saskatoon and elsewhere.


Councillor Cullen proposed the following motion:

That staff report to Transportation Committee on the process to be used to accommodate and evaluate an in-house bid to provide Para Transpo Service.

When asked by the Councillor, staff confirmed that Para Transpo service is simply based on disability, and that customers are not income tested.  The concept is that the City provides a subsidized service for the disabled who cannot access conventional transportation and thus use private sector taxis.  The Councillor provided Committee members with copies of a motion to be considered later in the day at a joint meeting of the Seniors Advisory Committee and the Accessibility Advisory Committee dealing with Para Transpo service.  He felt that the report now before the Transportation Committee allows for that discussion on service delivery, but members of the Committee and the Acting Chair Doucet felt it was a discussion for another day, and was not in keeping with the subject of this report.  Councillor Cullen pointed out this issue is very important to the advisory committees, and he wanted TRC members to be aware of it, but he agreed to stand down this discussion and bring it back later.


In response to questions from Councillor El-Chantiry, staff provided the following clarifications:

·        Everybody who is disabled and unable to use conventional transit due to disability, regardless of income, will qualify for the service.

·        The cost of Para Transpo service is based on distance and is determined through a zoning system known as the Urban Transit Area (UTA).  The cost is averaged out by considering the average distance of a trip within the UTA to a mid point, and the further out from the UTA one travels, the more the cost increases.  The total cost of providing that trip is borne by the taxpayer and the user, and the decision has been made for the user to pay 10% of that overall cost.

·        Staff acknowledge that issues persist with respect to customer requests for service and missed trips and point out that the issue is availability of resources to meet the demand, particularly in the morning when service runs out quickly and refusals occur because there are no additional resources.  There is often a backlog of calls at 9 a.m. in the morning and although staff are answering as many calls as possible on the17 phone lines, which are often times busy for up to an hour or more in the mornings from Monday to Friday, some calls will be missed and not all trips can be accommodated.  Other customers may simply give up calling or not call at all due to frustration.

·        Staff has talked to Bell Canada and looked at the system for a solution to help it handle the large volume of calls it has to handle at one time.  An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System has been installed and is now being tested where customers would be able to phone the automated system and get right into the scheduling of the trips to find out where their trips are, to cancel their own transportation, to lighten the load on the phone lines.  Although this may require a long education process, staff feels it will assist in the call time.

·        Para Transpo has a contract with Coventry Connection right now using the wheelchair accessible cabs, i.e. the side entry cabs.  They will handle the majority of wheelchairs with the front passenger seat removed, which the London Cabs will not because of the sizing issue, and will be using more of them as they become more available within the City of Ottawa.


In response to questions from Councillor Legendre, staff provided the following details:

·        Staff confirmed that the percentages used in Slide 10 of their presentation represent the amount of van service and sedan service, not the cost.  The First Bus, sedan service and the taxi contract provided by Westway totalled is 27% of the service provided; the accessible taxi is 3%.

·        The contract will be awarded based on the company that provides a cost effective vehicle or mix of vehicles that suit customers’ needs.

·        Staff now have a small number of accessible cabs they can use and have determined that it is an efficient way of providing service, so that will be considered during the tender process.  Staff has the flexibility of significantly increasing the taxi services within the existing taxi contracts and they do not expire until 2009, so depending on the numbers that come in during the bid process, it has the flexibility of lowering certain contracts and increasing others to meet the needs of the customers as well as the taxpayers.


Responding to questions from Councillor Bloess, staff provided the following clarifications:

·        With respect to the taxi script versus taxi chit program, the City would pay the discount.  It is a saving to taxpayers and it will provide a different level of service as it will be direct service from a cab company, no shared ride, which makes this a premium service and they will be paying more for it and it will take trips off Para Transpo for those who can afford it.

·        Staff has had some consultation with the taxi industry and has determined that 40 additional accessible plates are coming in January.  Staff is also looking to see what can be done to improve the quality of service for Para Transpo customers as well as the taxpayers and will use that to increase the availability of accessible cabs for other purposes within the City.

·        Staff is also looking at their managerial aspects and skills as well as those in the taxi industry in order to improve communication.  The industry is willing to increase their capabilities in terms of enhancing their dispatching capacities to have improved management, and staff is supporting them in that regard.  With respect to the dispatch system, staff is currently using the IVR System that is connected directly to the phone system into the Trapeze System so that it will provide more flexibility to customers and mitigate some dispatching problems.

·        There are currently four contracts and managers taking care of those contracts.  Determining how effective the service is generally depends on what trip goes to what vehicle, with the customer and the taxpayer in mind.


In considering the motion proposed by Councillor Cullen, concerns were expressed about the timing involved in coming back with a report and still allowing the RFP process to move forward on time.   Councillor Legendre suggested that a more efficient use of time would be for Councillor Cullen to modify his motion so that it is a direction to staff.  Councillor Cullen felt the City could not refuse an in-house bid, but felt that the issue is more about the RFP evaluation criteria, and thus felt that Committee needs a report to come back on that before proceeding.


When asked by Councillor Legendre, staff responded that they could come back quickly with a report but noted there are budget implications.  With respect to the criteria, staff acknowledged that there are some differences between in-house bidders and the others that cannot be strictly accommodated in terms of comparison.  For example, GST requirements are different for in-house contracts. A fairness approach, usually via a fairness commissioner, is required in such instances to ensure that evaluations are equal and fair and staff would need to take that consideration if accepting an in-house bid.  Staff would aim to bring back the report for the last meeting in June.


When asked by Councillor Thompson as to whether the timeframe associated with this report would impact the timeframe at all for a bid, staff explained that the request for tender should go out mid June to guarantee delivery of new vehicles for July 1st of next year.  The delivery schedule is somewhere between six and nine months for specially equipped wheelchair accessible vans.  Upon further thought, Acting Deputy City Manager Hewitt felt staff could take a look at this, and advise Committee as early as two weeks from now on how they would proceed.  He suggested the possibility of a parallel process whereby staff would go with request for qualifications for external bids while continuing to work on the internal bid issues, and then bring the two together and move forward from there.


Moved by Councillor A Cullen:


That staff report to Transportation Committee on the process to be used to accommodate and evaluate an ‘in-house’ bid to provide Para Transpo service.




The Committee then considered the report recommendation, as amended by staff’s technical amendment and by the foregoing resolution.


That the Transportation Committee approve and recommend to Council:


1.                   The service delivery concepts and procurement methodology detailed in this report, noting that the bid solicitation document will be released for Para Transpo service in June 2006;


2.                   That the Deputy City Manager, Public Works and Services be delegated authority to approve a contract award based on the process identified in this report for service provision beyond June 2007; and,


3.                   That a report be brought to Committee and Council in the fourth quarter 2006 which deals with the results of this procurement process, together with further investigation into the possible implementation details of a Taxi Script program.


4.         That staff report to Transportation Committee on the process to be used to accommodate and evaluate an ‘in-house’ bid to provide Para Transpo service.


                                                                                                            CARRIED, as amended













Bay/baie (7), baseline (8), somerset (14), kitchissippi (15), river (16), capital (17), alta vista (18)   


The Committee considered this item in conjunction with Item 5, Rideau/Montreal Corridor LRT Project Environmental Assessment Study - Statement of Work.


Appearing before Committee to make a presentation on Items 4 and 5 were Planning and Growth Management (PGM) staff Dennis Jacobs, Director of Planning, Environment and Infrastructure Policy, Peter Steacy, Program Manager of Transportation Environmental Assessments (EAs), and Kornel Mucsi, Senior Project Manager of Transportation EAs.  A copy of the PowerPoint used for both items is held on file with the City Clerk.  Also present to answer questions was Ned Lathrop, Deputy City Manager, PGM.


Besides the members of the Committee, Councillor Feltmate was also present and participated in the discussion.  After the Presentation and having no delegation to hear from, the Committee posed questions of staff and the following is a summary of the main points raised:

§         In reply to Councillor Feltmate’s concerns about the misconception in her community, the uncertainties, and the lack of information provided on the proposed project, staff informed that the purpose of this Statement of Work is to look at the general scope of work, and the Terms of Reference would clearly define it.  It has always been the intention to look at all potential options, alternatives, and the nature of the service at the beginning of a study, and it is a critical part of this analysis.  As staff goes through that process, the determination of the nature of service; the level of service; the technology to provide all of those things, and the number and location of stations along the Carling Avenue LRT line would be determined through the EA study, and would be part of the discussion that would take place.  These would then be part of the recommendations being brought forward to Committee and Council for endorsement before going to the Minister.

§         Staff understands the misconception that the East-West Line and the Carling and Montreal-Rideau Lines would somehow replace the existing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along the dedicated corridor, but staff reminded Committee that, as indicated from inception, this would be an integrated and comprehensive system and BRT and LRT (light rail train) would work complementarily.  However, in order to achieve a 30% modal split, the City needs to service all communities and for that reason staff has done a fair amount of work on origin destination analysis, and have determined that of the 20% that presently take transit from Kanata, about 22% of them go to the downtown, and the rest is going elsewhere.  Staff is seeking that well-rounded system so the East-West Transitway could service people wanting to go to the industrial parks as well as downtown.

§         Although there is a perceived lack of communication, staff feels that reminding people that a comprehensive system is being built will help in that regard.

§         The Carling Avenue and Rideau-Montreal would have to be a slower mode of transportation, servicing a very high-density corridor but would still be part of the rapid transit system.

§         Expanding the study area and retrofitting the Transitway to maintain the same level of ridership would mean revisiting the Rapid Transit Expansion Study in its entirety.  Within the 20-year horizon, staff had not anticipated the need to convert the transitway from bus to light rail.  If you look at capacity comparisons, bus rapid transit and light rail transit almost carry the same volume of ridership, although staff feels there is a slight advantage to light rail, as it is perceived as a higher level of service to a lot of people.  From a ridership and public service perspective and in terms of seeking funding from the Federal and Provincial Governments, staff feels it would be impossible to argue to retrofit the Transitway to just merely maintain the same level of ridership that the BRT System has, and is capable of on the Transitway.

§         Analysis of technology is always available through EAs but it would not be beneficial to retrofit the Transitway for no real net gain in capacity.

§         When considering the larger picture of East-West Light Rail, Council directed staff to undertake the planning for the Carling Avenue and the Montreal-Rideau Systems before selecting the next route to be implemented.  As part of those EAs, ridership levels would be determined, which would help Council make an educated decision.

§         The Transportation Master Plan identifies the first phase component of the Carling Avenue Project to be in place by 2016.

§         As requested by Councillor Feltmate, staff agreed to include someone from the far west end on the public consultation group.

§         In response to Councillor Cullen’s question, staff advised that expanding rapid service within the corridor, the notion of bus only lanes, and looking at ways to develop ridership over the course of the next period of time before the actual LRT gets implemented could certainly be considered as a staging alternative towards an ultimate solution.  The comparison of the cost to lay down track on the median versus having a bus-only lane to carry the same capacity of people would be considered as an alternative.

§         With respect to coordination with concurrent projects, staff confirmed that the Carling LRT EA would incorporate the future extensions of the West Transitway from Lincoln Fields to Kanata into the study analysis.

§         Notwithstanding the original ORTEP recommended phasing schedule, this Committee and Council may change its priority depending upon the outcome of all three studies.

§         Portions of the North-South LRT are not on dedicated rights-of-way – notably through the Riverside South Community, and through Barrhaven Town Centre.

§         At the request of Councillors Cullen and Legendre, staff agreed to provide them an electronic version of the Carling Avenue Transit Priority Feasibility Study, Morrison Hershfield, April 2004.

§         At the request of Councillor Legendre, staff confirmed they would do a thorough cost analysis of the do-nothing option.  That analysis would lay out the cost consequences of not doing it, the cost to the taxpayers and the cost of daily living that is not a tax cost, but simply the cost of living in Ottawa absent one or other of these.  This would be done with the obvious limitations that there will be educated estimates and guesses about congestion factors, gasoline consumption factors, wear and tear on vehicles, and the number of additional lane capacity required on roadways to cope with the traffic in order not to have transit.  Staff agreed, as per the Councillor Cullen’s request, to do to the best of their ability estimates for all of the alternatives at this same level of detail and seriousness.

§         Connection to other systems would be looked at as part of the operational aspects.  Maximum flexibility in using the loops efficiently would be examined during the course of the EA Study, but recognizing that the EA does not approve the operational plan.

§         The Transportation Master Plan identifies the implementation of the first phase of the Rideau/Montreal Corridor Project beginning in 2018.

§         The Carling Avenue and the Rideau/Montreal Corridor Projects are individual EAs through the Provincial EA process, and they do not have a shelf life; therefore, the planning currently being undertaken would set the stage for future implementation at any timeframe Council chooses.

§         The sequence in priorities for the actual build was approved as per the Transportation Master Plan and the original 2003 Official Plan.  The work that is being undertaken now with respect to these EAs, as well as the work that is soon to begin on revisiting the Transportation Master Plan and the Official Plan with respect to its five-year review cycle, will allow for adjustments or changes to that phasing and timing, should circumstances warrant it.  Therefore, these dates are fixed in the framework to date, but are subject to review and refinement on a five-year cycle as well as if there are extenuating circumstances, noting the development of the CFB Rockcliffe Air Base Site.

§         Noting that the Gloucester Shopping Centre is now putting up signs restricting transit riders from parking in its parking lot, something they permitted in the past, staff agreed to negotiate with the private sector in future to ensure the City receives some sort of benefit in exchange for the advantage being conferred when having a Transitway Station going through its property.

§         Staff will add the Montfort Hospital and La Cité Collégiale to the list of surrounding lands on Page 67 of the Report.

§         On Page 68, under Section 5.5 with respect to integration with other Transit Services in line, staff clarified that it refers to the proposed Interprovincial Rapid Transit Service in the downtown.

§         On page 69, the last bullet above Section 7.0 Major Tasks, the term ‘future Inter Provincial Crossings’ does not refer to a bridge necessarily; it is a crossing.

§         The Interprovincial Crossings EA study is at the stage of making a determination with respect to a consultant to lead the assignment.  The procurement process has gone up to the point of opening the envelope for the value.  There is one consulting firm still in the running in this contract, but, as a result of the opening of the envelope, there are some further discussions required with the consultant before the actual consultant award.  It is anticipated that would be done within the next four to six weeks.  The consultant would then begin that exercise.

§         A number of presentations would be made to Transportation Committee for information and for concurrence throughout the process as the Interprovincial Crossings EA study goes forward.

§         Staff is doing its best to move the Interprovincial Crossings EA study along; it is really a subject of the decision being made by the funding partners, which are the NCC, MTQ, and MTO.  In any study that involves the three levels of government, there are a lot of procedures on both sides of the River that have to be followed.  Therefore, there is a lot of front-end administration in awarding a contract. As soon as the decision is made to award the contract, staff would be able to update the Committee with respect to the anticipated timeline and the reporting process for this Committee.

§         Staff will add Lindenlea and Cardinal Glen (not to be confused with Cardinal Heights, a different area) to the list of Community Associations on Page 77 of the Report.

§         Following Councillor Doucet’s request for a more understandable word to reflect the speed of the service, staff suggested Semi-Rapid Transit, an unofficial terminology in the transportation profession, which includes mixed flow but with dedicated right-of-way, and signal priority measures.

§         In all EAs the do-nothing and all alternatives are looked at; therefore, the status quo is a possibility if it meets the objectives set out.

§         Staff will be dialoguing with the business community at the initial stage of the projects.

§         As noted by Councillor Bédard, staff would take special care of the heritage value in the Sandy Hill area.  Staff would also look at other alternatives other than one that would go through Sandy Hill.

§         Staff advised that the study area was expanded to include St. Patrick and Murray Streets because of what may happen around and through the CFB Rockcliffe Air Force Base, which may influence how to get there from the downtown.

§         In response to Councillor Bloess, staff noted that the determination of ridership on the line is a component of the EA Study.  It would come in at two points during the study.  Initially when looking at the bigger picture issues, alternative solutions (that is to do-nothing versus expand roads, transit) there is a cursory analysis.  Then, when getting down into the examination of individual alignment choices, ridership numbers for each one of those would be developed to use for comparing each of the different alternatives and evaluating them to develop a recommended plan.  Ridership implications really play into the choice of what the recommended plan would be, and as alluded to earlier, the recommended plan may be a continuation of the status quo.

§         In response to the suggestion about the possibility of bringing the trains through Hemlock and Beechwood to better serve the former CFB Rockcliffe lands, staff advised that all options to serve these lands would be considered.

§         Staff would be dialoguing with the National Research Council, it being one of the special stakeholders.

§         Staff confirmed they would consider all suggestions that were brought forth during this question period as directions, and that a motion to that effect would not be necessary.


The Committee then considered the following motion that would amend Item 5:


Moved by Councillor G. Bédard:


That 5.0 – Major Issues To Be Addressed, be amended to read Integration of LRT Operation with surrounding land use in particular the commercial land use along Montreal Road and Rideau Street another mode of transportation.




The Committee then considered the following report recommendations, Item 5 being amended by the foregoing motion:


That the Transportation Committee approve the Statement of Work for the Carling Avenue Corridor LRT Project Environmental Assessment as detailed in Document 1.



That the Transportation Committee approve the Statement of Work for the Rideau-Montreal Corridor LRT Project Environmental Assessment as detailed in Document 1.


                                                                                                                                CARRIED as amended







innes (2), beacon hill-cyrville (11), rideau-vanier (12),

rideau-rockcliffe (13), alta vista (18)                                                                                           


The aforementioned report was considered in conjunction with Item 4 – Carling Avenue Corridor LRT Project Environmental Study – Statement of Work – see Item 4 for discussion and motion.


That the Transportation Committee approve the Statement of Work for the Rideau-Montreal Corridor LRT Project Environmental Assessment as detailed in Document 1.


                                                                      CARRIED, as amended by the following:


That 5.0 – Major Issues To Be Addressed, be amended to read Integration of LRT Operation with surrounding land use in particular the commercial land use along Montreal Road and Rideau Street another mode of transportation.








Councillor El-Chantiry raised the following inquiry, which was referred to the Deputy City Manager, Planning and Growth Management, for response:


“Would you provide the Committee with an update on the Environmental Assessment for the Expansion of the Highway 417 from Bayshore to Scotia Place?”



Councillor Bédard raised the following inquiries, which were referred to the Acting Deputy City Manager, Public Works and Services, for response:


“1.    “Further to the response of PWS to my request for information concerning the February 27 Accident at King Edward Avenue and MacDonald-Cartier Bridge, will the reconstruction of King Edward Avenue scheduled to start this year include traffic calming and speed reduction elements to reduce and protect against serious accidents?”


“2.    “On what basis was the signage on Rideau Street between Sussex Drive and King Edward Avenue changed from restricted transit only during peak transit hours to transit only 24/7, and what consultation was initiated, if any with the business community before this was instituted?”



Councillor Bloess raised the following inquiry, which was referred to the Acting Deputy City Manager, Public Works and Services, for response:


“What is the status of the Blackburn Bypass Safety Audit?”







The Committee adjourned the meeting at 3:00 p.m.






Original signed by                                                       Original signed by

Anne-Marie Leung                                                      Councillor Janet Stavinga                 


Committee Coordinator                                             Chair