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October 12 Transit Commission Update

Image - October 12 Transit Commission Update

It was another busy Transit Commission for us on October 12. We provided updates on severe weather incidents, wheel bearing issues that caused recent O-Train service disruptions, ridership levels and a lot more!

You can watch the presentation here or check out the highlights from the meeting below.

Transit ridership highest since start of COVID-19

Transit Commissioners heard that transit ridership in September 2023 was the highest since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. O-Train and conventional buses experienced 6.4 million customer trips in September 2023, which is an increase of 500,000 when compared to September 2022.

It is also a significant recovery from July and August 2023 when transit service was impacted by a multi-day closure.

Para Transpo ridership is also continuing to approach pre-pandemic levels and is 18 per cent higher than it was a year ago September.

Response times on Para Transpo also decreased from 4:01 to 3:27 minutes, while on-time performance decreased by two per cent.

More great news

OC Transpo is also extremely proud to announce recognition by the American Public Transportation Association with a Grand Award in the Best Marketing and Communications Educational Initiative category.

This award was received for the Travel Training Program that was featured in BBC’s online series called The Way We Move.

Wheel bearing update

Transit Commissioners also received updates on the wheel bearing issue that resulted in O-Train service disruptions.

There were three events related to the axle bearing issue that has caused full or partial shutdowns on O-Train Line 1 since August 2021.

The LRT Disruption – Root Cause Review report provides details on the incidents and the investigations undertaken by the City and RTG/Alstom since 2021 to manage and resolve ongoing issues related to axle bearings on O-Train light rail vehicles.

The report also outlined further findings that are expected to complete the root cause analysis and the review sets out short, medium and long-term actions to permanently resolve the axle bearing issue and increase rail service reliability.

Plans are in place to monitor and manage the current axle configuration until the solutions can be implemented.

Fixing the issue will allow for the removal of temporary measures that are currently in place and will increase the safety of the light rail system.

Severe weather

Ottawa residents are certainly aware of the severe weather we have been experiencing in recent years. Transit is no exception. Ice, freezing rain, snow, tornadoes and lightning to name a few.

As a result of the severe weather we have been experiencing Transit Commission received the report on Incidents Affecting LRT Vehicles and Services.

O-Train service was partially shut down between uOttawa and Tremblay Stations due to a freezing rain event on January 4, 2023.

A unique combination of factors may have caused significant ice buildup in this location resulting in immobilized trains just east of the Rideau River.

OC Transpo will continue to consult with RTG and work on preventing future issues affecting O-Train system service reliability related to severe weather.

Transit sponsorship

The Transit Commission received a report on Sponsorship of Transit Services detailing opportunities and challenges with respect to attracting sponsorship of free transit service for special occasions.

Staff are exploring whether the approach of using external, specialized resources could be used for transit sponsorship and partnerships in Ottawa.

Additional advertising and sponsorship revenue will be included as part of the 2024 Operating Budget process for Council consideration and approval.

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