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:
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
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).
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
Andy Haydon's PowerPoint Presentation
On the face of it, Haydon's plan:
Appears objective and well thought out.
cost-saving, hence, a much better $-value.
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).
more flexible, for city-wide route modification and adaptation, as
Reduces construction woes and service interruptions.
Eliminates LRT's ever-present risk of electrical 'brown-outs' or 'black-outs'
more aesthetic -i.e.: with no overhead "streetcar" wires, or tracks
marring the Capital landscape.
detached of any vested interest(s).
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!)
appears exceptionally worthy of serious evaluation, and possible
Ottawa bureaucrats and councilors owe city taxpayers an honest review of Andy Haydon’s
Rapid Bus Transit Study.
Why should rural
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.
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.
this case: We must step forward! We have to speak out!
Ottawa Citizen columnist, Randall Denley, believes that Haydon's plan
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
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"?...
The cost benefits or
negative impacts regarding the choice of BRT or LRT will be
future infrastructure and social benefits over this decision will affect
lifestyle of your children and grandchildren, living in Ottawa.
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:
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
Josh Pringle with CFRA Staff
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
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
It adds a downtown
transit tunnel for buses-only would have to be larger, including two
lanes in each direction.
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
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
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
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.