• Ottawa launches Canada’s first on-street test of an Autonomous Vehicle

    Ottawa – Ottawa is the first Canadian city to launch testing of an on-street autonomous vehicle (AV) communicating with live City infrastructure. Until now, testing of AVs in Canada has been done in closed, segregated areas. By partnering with BlackBerry QNX and its Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre (AVIC), Ottawa now has the facilities and technology to further the advancement of driverless car testing on active public streets.

    Mayor Jim Watson celebrated this milestone with partners from BlackBerry QNX, Invest Ottawa, and the Kanata North Business Association as the car took its first spin around the Kanata North Technology Park. At the live demonstration, Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Marianne Wilkinson and John Wall, Senior Vice President and GM of BlackBerry QNX, rode in BlackBerry’s autonomous drive concept car. During the ride, the car stopped at a traffic light at a pedestrian crossing, allowing people to cross the road.

    The test area, which loops around the Kanata North Technology Park, is equipped with the latest technology from BlackBerry QNX, along with Codha Wireless, Luxcom and NovAtel. The City’s Traffic Services have optimized the infrastructure within the test route area for communication with autonomous vehicles via Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) transmitters at the traffic lights, re-painted street lines in the test area, and accelerated installation of controllable LED street lights.

    The City and BlackBerry QNX are working collaboratively with organizations such as Invest Ottawa and the Kanata North Business Association, as well as researchers and academics at Algonquin College, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa to further establish Ottawa as Canada’s AV capital. Together, these industry leaders will bring the emerging connected car and AV technologies, products, services and applications developed in Ottawa to the global market.

    This milestone in AV testing brings Ottawa a step closer to its vision of being a Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Vehicles, a highly competitive designation that will allow further advancement of driverless car testing. The City and Ottawa’s technology community are committed to working together to ensure that the testbed is continually being updated with leading-edge technology. In the next phase, Nokia will be joining the testbed to add LTE and 5G capability to the route, based on their experience deploying connected car solutions in Germany and elsewhere.

    Quotes

    “Ottawa has established itself as an innovative and smart city, is home to a diverse technology hub, and has the expertise, new technology and talent needed to spark autonomous vehicle innovation. With support from BlackBerry QNX and its Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Center and by working closely with all our partners, we are facilitating smart initiatives and research, and fueling innovation and job creation in Ottawa.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

     

    “Thanks to the City of Ottawa, our AVIC was able to help establish a functional, real-life test route for our autonomous vehicle concept car, which will benefit our growing ecosystem of customers, partners and developers. Anybody who has driven in Ottawa in February knows that no matter who is behind the wheel, driving isn’t easy when it comes to ice, sleet and snow. We believe these conditions coupled with the City’s commitment to supporting research and development from BlackBerry and its partners, makes Ottawa a fantastic place to advance autonomous vehicle technology.”
    John Wall, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Blackberry QNX

     

    “Ottawa is a global leader in autonomous vehicles and related technologies, leveraging decades of innovation and industry leadership in information and communications technologies (ICT), next-generation networks, wireless, and related hardware and software. Our region has the expertise and capabilities required to develop, commercialize, and adopt new vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) solutions. These technologies can be integrated into global supply chains and sold around the world.  This new testbed adds critical capability to our ecosystem, enabling innovators to test and commercialize these AV technologies.”
    Michael Tremblay, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards

     

    “We are very proud that today, Canada’s largest technology park launches Canada’s first on-road autonomous vehicle test route connected to live City infrastructure. With over 40 Autonomous Vehicle technology companies located in the Kanata North Technology Park along the test route itself, and Canada’s largest cluster of advance networking, software, cybersecurity, and IoT expertise for Autonomous Vehicles – the contributions these companies will make to the global advancement of Autonomous Vehicle technology is invaluable.”
    Jenna Sudds, President and Executive Director, Kanata North Business Association

     

    Quick Facts

    • There are over 70 companies in Ottawa’s autonomous vehicle ecosystem, led by BlackBerry QNX, that are directly contributing their expertise, technology and intelligence to connected cars and autonomous vehicles.
    • The test route is made possible by many partners working together:
      • BlackBerry QNX, a leading developer of mission-critical software that forms the foundation for connected and autonomous vehicles, will use the test route to further advance its software and technology development in this field. BlackBerry QNX’s operating system also powers the traffic management system used by the City’s Traffic Services.
      • NovAtel’s GNSS GPS base station, installed on BlackBerry QNX’s building, and Codha’s DSRC technology, installed in the City traffic lights, can communicate directly with authorized AVs, and enable them to take appropriate action.
      • In-kind contributions and donations of AV technology and systems from other leading industry partners including NovAtel and Codha Wireless.
      • Critical funding and support from the City of Ottawa, Invest Ottawa, the lead economic development agency for the National Capital Region, and the Kanata North Business Association, which is home to Canada’s largest technology park.
    • Ottawa is home to BlackBerry QNX’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Center.
    • The BlackBerry QNX Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Centre (AVIC) was created to advance technology innovation for connected and autonomous vehicles, independently as well as in collaboration with private and public sector organizations and research institutes.
    • Building on the company’s 20 years of experience and leadership in the automotive industry, the centre will germinate new ideas and transform innovative concepts into reality through advanced engineering projects and demonstration vehicles tested on real roads.
    • Carleton Research has recently secured funding from the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP).  As part of the program, which is led by Defense Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science and in partnership with Public Safety Canada, Carleton Research will be given $974,000 over three years for research on securing new connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
    • To help aid the University’s research, BlackBerry QNX has signed a charter with Carleton University to provide technical expertise in the area of automotive software development.

    Resources:

  • Gatineau and Ottawa mayors announce the mandate and membership of the Joint Transportation Working Group

    GATINEAU and OTTAWA — On May 26, Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, in conjunction with Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) and OC Transpo, announced the signing of a historic transit agreement between the two cities. In addition to integrating Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) bus routes with the new O-Train Confederation Line, the agreement also provided for the creation of a bilateral working group on long-term interprovincial transportation planning.

    Following up on the May 26 announcement, the mayors of Gatineau and Ottawa today announced the mandate and composition of the Working Group, as well as its meeting schedule.

    From now on, this new forum will be referred to as the “Joint Transportation Working Group”.

    The Working Group’s mandate will be to study and make recommendations on questions related to interprovincial transportation, including transit and active transportation, as well as any transportation infrastructure projects likely to have impacts on both sides of the Ottawa River.

    To ensure that this committee carries on the existing spirit of collaboration between Ottawa and Gatineau, the mayors have named ex officio members who are currently driving key transportation files in both cities. These members are:

    City of Gatineau:

    1. Mayor of Gatineau (or his designated representative)
    2. Chair of the Société de transport de l’Outaouais
    3. Chair of the Commission des transports
    4. General Manager of the Société de transport de l’Outaouais

    City of Ottawa:

    1. Mayor of Ottawa (or his designated representative)
    2. Chair of the Transit Commission
    3. Chair of the Transportation Committee
    4. General Manager of OC Transpo

    Additional staff from both cities and transit agencies will join the Working Group depending on the topics under consideration.

    The Joint Transportation Working Group will meet at least twice a year; additional meetings may be called as required. Meeting locations will alternate between Gatineau and Ottawa, beginning in early 2018.

  • City proposes improvements to Trillium Line extension south

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson announced today a new alignment for the O-Train Trillium Line extension as part of the Stage 2 Light Rail Transit project.

    The new alignment would move Bowesville Station to the edge of the urban boundary just southeast of the Bowesville and Earl Armstrong intersection, bringing rail almost a full kilometre closer to the Riverside South community. The new alignment also takes advantage of an existing City-owned rail corridor, ultimately reducing the environmental impact on sensitive green spaces, in addition to reducing potential land costs and simplifying construction.

    This new Earl Armstrong/Bowesville station and alignment also facilitates a potential future extension to Limebank Road to better integrate with the community of Riverside South as it grows. This potential future extension to Limebank requires an amendment to the existing Environmental Assessment for the Trillium Line, as well as a targeted update to the Community Design Plan for Riverside South. City staff will be completing these updates over the summer.

    The Trillium Line extension is one of the three extensions in Ottawa’s Stage 2 project package. In the South, the Trillium Line will be expanded to reach Bowesville Station with a link to the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport by 2021. In the East, the Confederation Line will extend to Trim Road by 2022. In the West, rail will reach Algonquin College and Moodie Drive by 2023.

    Once complete, Stage 2 will bring 70 per cent of Ottawa residents within five kilometers of fast, efficient, clean and reliable rail with the capability of carrying an estimated 24,000 riders per hour per direction during peak periods. The complete O-Train system will span 60 kilometres and include 41 stations.

    For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with the City through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

    City of Ottawa secures funding for Stage 2 LRT

    Province of Ontario invests $1.16 billion into Phase 2. That’s billion with a “B”

    Quotes

    “The new proposed alignment will bring thousands of residents closer to rail and have a reduced impact on environmentally sensitive Greenbelt lands. In Riverside South alone, the City is forecasting a residential growth of nearly 15,000 households or approximately 40,000 people over the course of the next ten years.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    Quick Facts:

    • Confederation Line (Stage 1)
      • Length – 12.5 km
      • Downtown tunnel – 2.5 km
      • Number of stations – 13
    • Stage 2 (Confederation Line and Trillium Line)
      • 24,000 people per direction per hour at peak capacity
      • 39 km of new rail
      • 23 new stations
      • South extension
        • 12 km including a spur to the Airport
        • 7 new stations
        • Completion 2021
      • East extension
        • 5 km
        • 5 new stations
        • Completion 2022
      • West extension
        • 15 km
        • 11 new stations
        • Completion 2023

    Website
    Stage 2
    Confederation Line
    Ready for Rail
    OC Transpo

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  • Motion to introduce an equitable single fare transit option

    On October 4, 2016, Councillor Stephen Blais, Chair of the Transit Commission, and I announced the creation of a new EquiPass, to help create a more affordable city for all residents of Ottawa.

    On March 10, 2017, OC Transpo launched the EquiPass – priced at $57 per month – a 50 per cent discount from the regular adult monthly pass.  Since the EquiPass was launched in March, over 2,300 eligible residents have applied and been approved for the EquiPass.

    Today, we are calling on the Transit Commission to work closely with OC Transpo to create an equitable single fare option, as part of the 2018 budget, for residents and families who meet the low income threshold, as defined by Statistics Canada.

    In consultation with stakeholders, and given the early success in the implementation of the EquiPass, we feel providing a single fare option is the next logical step in the evolution of the EquiPass. These changes will help us reach ‎our goal of expanding inclusive and equitable fares for eligible Ottawa residents.

    We are proposing that the new single fare – to be called the “EquiFare” or “EquiTarif” – be funded through the 2018 Budget process. We are asking the Transit Commission to work with OC Transpo on an equitable single fare for implementation in 2018.

    Our goal is to continue to show that we can and will balance the competing demands of being an affordable city and a caring city.

    To this end, Councillor Blais will introduce a motion at Transit Commission on Wednesday directing staff to further develop this program and to bring forward a recommendation to be considered as part of the 2018 budget process

    Sincerely,

    Jim Watson                                                               Stephen Blais
    Mayor, City of Ottawa                                             Councillor, Cumberland Ward

  • O-Train Confederation Line Fall Newsletter

    Click on each page to maximize it.

    O-Train Confederation_Line_Newsletter_Fall_2016_EN_print_Page_1 O-Train Confederation_Line_Newsletter_Fall_2016_EN_print_Page_2 O-Train Confederation_Line_Newsletter_Fall_2016_EN_print_Page_3 O-Train Confederation_Line_Newsletter_Fall_2016_EN_print_Page_4 O-Train Confederation_Line_Newsletter_Fall_2016_EN_print_Page_5

  • Red-light cameras being installed at locations across the city

    October 3, 2016 – Today, Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the City’s Transportation Committee, and Orléans Councillor Bob Monette unveiled a new red-light camera at the intersection of St. Joseph Boulevard and Old Tenth Line Road, making it the first of five new red-light cameras that will be installed throughout the city in 2016 with 15 more to be installed in 2017.

    These 20 new red-light cameras will be in addition to the existing 34 red-light cameras currently in operation at locations across Ottawa. The City installs cameras at intersections based on collision rates.

    “Road safety is a top concern in neighbourhoods across Ottawa and as a Council we are committed to making sure that all of our road, path and sidewalk users feel safe,” said Mayor Watson. “In the 2016 budget, Council approved the expansion of the red-light camera program as another tool we can use to ensure our streets are safe for everyone.”

    The program’s objective is to improve intersection safety by decreasing the number of red-light running occurrences. Collisions resulting from red-light running tend to be more severe than other intersection collisions because they usually involve at least one vehicle travelling very quickly. In 2014, there were 655 reportable angle collisions at signalized intersections in the city.

    “Keeping residents safe as they travel through the city is of vital importance,” said Councillor Egli. “By implementing tools such as red-light cameras, with enforcement and education, we can improve the level of safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists on our roads. These cameras also allow police to focus on other enforcement needs.”

    Red-light cameras take two photographs: the first is taken when a vehicle is about to enter an intersection with a red light, the second photograph shows the offending vehicle in the intersection. The fine for running a red light is $260, plus a $5 service fee and $60 victim surcharge.

     

  • Mayor Jim Watson calls for increased protection measures for cyclists and pedestrians

    Ottawa – On September 22, Mayor Jim Watson wrote to the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, to request that further research be conducted on truck side guards and other safety measures that would reduce fatal collisions between cyclists, pedestrians, and heavy trucks.

    Mayor Watson’s letter was sent following a meeting with key local cycling and pedestrian groups earlier this month, organized with the Chair of the City’s Transportation Committee, Councillor Keith Egli.

    Today, following a meeting with his provincial and territorial counterparts earlier this week, Minister Garneau announced the creation of a task force to look at measures to increase safety. He also announced the launch of a new Transport Canada study that will examine new technologies that could reduce collisions involving cyclists, pedestrians, and heavy trucks.

    “I am pleased that Minister Garneau has heard our call and is committed to enhancing safety measures; I look forward to seeing the results of their discussions and the proposed study,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “While it is impossible to completely eliminate incidents, the City of Ottawa will strive to reduce their likelihood and severity.”

    “I’m pleased to work with my provincial, territorial and municipal colleagues to explore options to reduce collisions and improve safety for everyone on Canada’s roadways. Whether it’s through technology, equipment, or an educational approach, we need to find out what works best in order to improve safety for Canadians.”  said Minister Garneau.

    For more information on the Transport Canada study, please visit this link.

  • New federal-provincial funding agreement makes 57 public transit projects possible in Ottawa

    The governments of Canada and Ontario, as well as municipalities across Ontario are making investments that will help create jobs and grow the middle class now while building a strong foundation for a sustainable economic future. Catherine McKenna, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Yasir Naqvi, Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa Centre, and His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa today announced that 57 transit infrastructure projects totaling $155,900,000 will be getting under way in Ottawa thanks to the signing of an agreement with the Province of Ontario that brings a new federal infrastructure funding program into effect: the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF).

    The PTIF will make over $2.97 billion in combined funding available to Ontario communities for public transit projects that will help ensure residents across the province get to work on time and back home safely at the end of a long day.

    The Ottawa projects include the purchase of two sets of trains for the second stage of the Ottawa light-rail system, 17 new vehicles for Ottawa’s bus fleet, extensive improvements to bus routes and transit corridors, and pedestrian and cycling bridges to connect pathways to light rail stations. This work will improve the flow of public transit in the city and prepare for future construction of the light-rail and other important projects.

    These are among 168 projects approved for funding so far under the new program in Ontario.

    Quotes

    “Good public transit infrastructure is fundamental to economic growth and building an inclusive society. I’m very pleased to see that, amongst many beneficial projects, this collaborative funding program will provide support to the construction of a pedestrian and cycling bridge to connect Old Ottawa East, Old Ottawa South and the Glebe. This bridge will make walking and cycling safer options for Ottawa Centre residents and will contribute to a more livable and environmentally sustainable city.”

    Catherine McKenna, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Centre

    “Building, maintaining and modernizing transit is a key priority for our government. As cities and towns grow, we need to invest in projects that will strengthen our regional transit networks and improve quality of life for the people who live and work in this province. I am thrilled that all levels of government are working together to help build our province up.”

    Yasir Naqvi, MPP, Ottawa-Centre

    “Federal investment in Ottawa’s pedestrian, cycling and public transit systems will provide long-term benefits for our residents and their families”, said Mayor Jim Watson. “This is a new era of collaboration during which our three levels of Government work together to make transformative investments that will improve the lives of Ottawa residents.”

    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    Related products

    List of all Ontario PTIF projects approved to date: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/pt-sp/pt-sp-on-eng.html

    Quick facts

    • PTIF funding is part of Phase 1 of Investing in Canada, the Government of Canada’s historic $120-billion plan to support public infrastructure across the country over the next 10 years.
    • Phase 1 provides more than $11.9 billion in investments to support public transit systems, green infrastructure projects, and social infrastructure projects. Details on Phase 2 of Investing in Canada will be announced over the next year.
    • Under the PTIF agreement, the Government of Canada has made its funding retroactive to April 1, 2016, so projects can proceed without delay to ensure a productive construction season.

    Associated links

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    News Release issued by the Office of Catherine McKenna, M.P., on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
    August 23, 2016

  • Ottawa cyclists pedal through two million trips on Laurier lanes

    The Laurier Avenue cycling lanes, built to establish a safe bicycle corridor through Ottawa’s downtown, have reached a milestone with two million bike trips since its opening in 2011.

    “The Laurier cycling lanes are a proven success, attracting more and more residents who are appreciative of this route through our busy downtown. We frequently see more than 3,000 trips a day along Laurier and there are times when there are nearly as many bikes as there are cars,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Our residents deserve credit for taking advantage of this important piece of our transportation system, using it as a way to improve personal health and reduce the number of automobiles on the road.”

    “The Laurier lanes are now a core part of our Cross-Town Bikeway network, which is being built in the eight central wards to provide safer, continuous cycling facilities,” said Councillor Keith Egli, Chair of the City’s Transportation Committee. “The network was just 25-per-cent complete when the Laurier bike lanes were opened in 2011 as a pilot project. Our plan is for that network to be 71-per-cent complete by the end of this Term of Council, in 2018, which shows the City of Ottawa is serious about making cycling a real transportation alternative for our residents.”

    The initial 1.3-kilometre segment of the Laurier cycling lanes has since been extended both eastward and westward and is part of a 12-kilometre-long bikeway connecting Vanier to Westboro. This east-west route is Bicycle Route #2 within the City’s Cross-Town Bikeway network.

    On Laurier Avenue West, more than 4,000 bike trips were recorded through the day on Wednesday, June 29. On that day, the bike traffic reached 80 per cent of peak vehicle traffic during the morning rush hour.

    The City made major investments in cycling infrastructure totalling $28 million between 2011 and 2014. Plans for further implementing the City’s Cycling Plan between now and 2031 include projects totalling more than $100 million.

  • City Council approves new vehicle-for-hire regulations

    With the approval of new vehicle-for-hire regulations by City Council today, Ottawa has become one of the first Canadian jurisdictions to adopt regulations for Private Transportation Companies. ‎The City has also adopted a lighter regulatory framework for the traditional taxi industry in order to allow it to compete and innovate with new service offerings.

    “Today’s decision moves our transportation system in the right direction by challenging the status quo and opening up the market to competition,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Ottawa should be a place where people have access to safe, competitive, affordable, and effective transportation options.”

    “I want to thank the more than 6,000 people who participated in consultations and helped us come up with a smart set of 21st century regulations,” said Councillor Diane Deans, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee. “Under the new rules, I have every confidence that the traditional taxi industry will change and succeed in this competitive environment.”

    Effective September 30, 2016, a Private Transportation ‎Company (PTC) that wishes to operate in the City of Ottawa would obtain an operating license similar to that of a taxi broker. Prior to commencing operations and on a regular basis thereafter, each PTC must supply to the City information about its drivers and their vehicles. This will include proof of police background checks, vehicle inspections, and proper insurance. PTCs will pay the same broker fee as traditional taxi companies, while also paying a comparable licensing fee on a per-ride basis.

    ‎The Community and Protective Services Committee met for 18 hours over two days last week to listen to public delegations and discuss the proposed changes. The Committee adopted several motions to amend the staff report, many of which were based on feedback received from the taxi industry. These changes addressed issues such as stronger oversight of PTCs, compliance, enforcement, accessibility, HST, and delaying the by-law implementation date by three months.

    Through its new vehicle-for-hire regulations, the City of Ottawa has modernized regulations for the traditional taxi industry to allow it to compete more freely, while protecting key features on which residents have come to rely. The new features of the taxi regulations include:

    • Allowing taxi companies to offer reduced fares when rides are booked through an app
    • Eliminating the $1.50 credit and debit card fee
    • Reducing the taxi driver license fee by 40% (from $170 to $96)
    • Waiving the taxi driver license fee for accessible taxis (from $170 to $0)
    • Eliminating interior and trunk size requirements for vehicles
    • Increasing maximum vehicle age from 8 to 10 years
    • Allowing taxi companies to determine their own industry-specific customer service training, instead of the $820 standard taxicab driver course at Algonquin College
    • Retaining taxis’ exclusive ability to accept street-hails, together with exclusive use of taxi stands and lanes
    • Retaining exclusive Para Transpo contract, worth about $9-million annually
    • ‎Allowing for nominal cancellation fees and surcharges for premium vehicle options when rides are booked through an app

    ‎The City of Ottawa will enforce the existing by-law until the new regulations come into effect on September 30, 2016.

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