Shouldn't the  goal, here, be to deliver the best
possible transit service for the best dollar value?

Rural Council Reports:

Ottawa bureaucrats and councillors owe city taxpayers honest consideration of Andy Haydon’s Rapid Bus Transit Study

Most Ottawa residents are now solidly onside with the idea that we need a transit tunnel under the downtown section of the city. 

On December 16, Committee approved $2.1B for the first phase of the rapid transit plan, to build the downtown tunnel and extend the light rail from Blair Road to Tunney's Pasture, (See: CTV News).

The province has stepped in with a commitment of $600M for the project, and it is expected that the federal government will at least match that, leaving $900M to be carried by the city. In committing the $600M, on December 18th, the premier made it clear that there will not be any additional provincial funds spent on the project.

One of the certainties in funding such vast city-managed projects is that there will be massive cost overruns, creating huge exposure to the taxpayers of Ottawa.

City staff and councillors have so far ignored other cost-saving alternatives to light rail, such as the use of diesel-electric hybrid rapid bus service, not light rail, through the tunnel, (or smaller, lower cost, twin tunnels).

Former Regional Chair, Andy Haydon, who also has a Professional Engineer background, has devised a rapid bus, twin tunnel plan that he shows would cut project costs by close to 80%. Andy’s Plan can be viewed in great detail by going to his website at:

Andy Haydon's PowerPoint Presentation 

On the face of it, Haydon's plan:

  • Appears objective and well thought out.

  • A huge cost-saving, hence, a much better $-value.

  • Has significantly lower Capital and Operating Costs.

  • Improves travel times, thus, is more efficient.

  • Requires less transferring, (which is a big factor for increasing rider-ship and maintaining loyalty).

  • If far more flexible, for city-wide route modification and adaptation, as required.

  • Reduces construction woes and service interruptions.

  • Eliminates LRT's ever-present risk of electrical 'brown-outs' or 'black-outs' causing system-wide paralysis.

  • Is far more aesthetic -i.e.: with no overhead "streetcar" wires, or tracks marring the Capital landscape.

  • Appears detached of any vested interest(s).

  • Public associations of "LRT" often come with bad feelings and memories of past baggage, that may still be attached. (With all of the clear advantages that BRT has over LRT --especially in the area of costs-- why is LRT still being pushed so vigourously by staff and some councillors? This is the elephant that is still in the room!)

  • BRT appears exceptionally worthy of serious evaluation, and possible implementation.

Ottawa bureaucrats and councilors owe city taxpayers an honest review of Andy Haydon’s
Rapid Bus Transit Study.

Why should rural residents care?

Like it or not, rural residents are part of the city tax rolls. As such, every unwise spending decision --and they have been countless in number-- made by our municipal administrators, negatively impacts all residents -- urban, suburban and especially rural.

If Ottawa doesn’t already hold the title as the Canadian municipality with the worst record of wasteful spending, we must be close! Wasteful spending of our municipal tax resources is so prevalent that, not knowing where to begin, we tend to groan and go on with our daily affairs. In this case: We must step forward! We have to speak out!


Ottawa Citizen columnist, Randall Denley, believes that Haydon's plan deserves study:

Map 4a Rapid Transit Network - 2031 (City of Ottawa website):

CTV Report- December 18, 2009:
Premier commits $600M for Ottawa's transit plan

An independent review of BRT, (compared with LRT), by the United States Transportation Research Board says:
"BRT has proven successful in terms of passanger service, operating speeds, low capital cost, low operating cost, and development impacts."   (Reference: Andy Haydon's PowerPoint Presentation)

Why are we even thinking of going back to "electric streetcars"?...

What YOU can do...

The cost benefits or negative impacts regarding the choice of BRT or LRT will be generational.

Affordability of future infrastructure and social benefits over this decision will affect the
lifestyle of your children and grandchildren, living in Ottawa.

City of Ottawa Staff and Council had better do their research on this subject:  Ignorance regarding the merits of BRT vs. LRT will not be an excuse for making the wrong decision on this vital issue!

Make your ward councillor aware that YOUR voting decisions in the 2010 Municipal Election will be directly linked to HIS or Her vote on this extremely urgent matter.

UPDATE: January 5, 2010...



Excerpts from the January 5th, 2007 letter...
From: The Ottawa Taxpayer Advocacy Group
To:      City of Ottawa Council
Honest cost comparison between BRT and LRT

"If Council views money management as their number one priority, the first item for discussion in the new year would be a financial comparison between electric BRT and LRT. We are not making a judgment on the public comments of Mr. Haydon, but we are simply asking Council to do due diligence and examine all new information before committing more funds to LRT."

- Ottawa Taxpayer Advocacy Group:


As shown in the CFRA Report, below, city staff have once again, failed to  address an honest comparison between the two options:

                                                        * * * * *

City Staff Reject Bus-Only Transit Plan

City Staff are derailing a proposal from former regional chair Andy Haydon for a Rapid Bus Network instead of the Light Rail Transit Network.

Staff say the Bus Rapid Transit proposal would be unable to meet the capacity needs of Ottawa beyond 2031, and would require an articulated bus running every 14 seconds in each direction.

The memo to Councillors says "buses only" was not a popular choice from the public during the consultation phase.

It adds a downtown transit tunnel for buses-only would have to be larger, including two lanes in each direction.

Mayor Larry O'Brien told CFRA News bus-only is a non-starter, saying the Rapid Transit Network is a long-term solution to transit for the Capital.

The Rural Council of Ottawa-Carleton believes that the staff response is biased, superficial and lacks credibility:

The RCOC believes that it would be irresponsible for Ottawa City Council to proceed with any further expenditures on rapid transit alternatives until:

1.) An independent (outside) professional Transportation Industry review of comparative costs of BRT vs. LRT is presented to Council, without being tainted, modified, manipulated or filtered by city staff.

2.) A funding confirmation is received from the Federal Government regarding its portion of the funding, and whether it requires said comparative review before advancing funds.

In these uncertain economic times Council must not be committing taxpayers to generational debt to satisfy unfounded political influence or bias to satisfy light rail lobbyists. On this municipal election year, politicians would do well for themselves to briefly pause --to become properly informed as to facts regarding rapid bus transit and reflect upon how to best serve the public interest.

It appears to the RCOC that the rapid transit tunnel can STILL be built within budget if Council ops for  the more cost-effective BRT over LRT.



UPDATE: January 24, 2010...


Interview with Andy Haydon - by Ottawa Sun Columnist Sue Sherring:
Haydon's bus battle - January 24, 2010

Sue Sherring also asks...

"What if Andy Haydon is right?"

"What if the city could build a rapid-transit system with buses, without changing the
 entire Transitway -- saving both time and mega-money?"

"And what if it would be just as good as light rail?"

Council won't get off the light rails - January 24, 2010

580 CFRA By popular demand, the Lowell Green Show from June 1st, with special guest Andy Haydon, is now available online:

Hour 1 -
Hour 2 -

Review the facts about Bus Rapid Transit, ask questions, and demand that our elected officials make the right choice moving forward with Ottawa's Transit Vision.
June 2, 2010, at 9:43am