• City of Ottawa secures funding for Stage 2 LRT

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson was pleased to welcome Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the Belfast Yard Maintenance and Storage Facility today, where the Government of Canada announced its financial support for the Stage 2 LRT project.

    The federal government has pledged to contribute up to $1.09 billion in total eligible costs to Stage 2 through their long term plan, Investing in Canada. This is in addition to the over $67 million the federal government committed to Stage 2 through the first phase of the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund last year.

    Mayor Watson and Prime Minister Trudeau were also joined by Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli from the Province of Ontario, which has already promised to invest $1 billion towards Stage 2 LRT, plus 50 per cent of the cost associated with extending the O-Train system to the Ottawa airport and from Place d’Orléans to Trim.

    The remainder of the LRT costs, approximately $1 billion, will be covered by the City of Ottawa.

    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, it 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 efficient, clean and reliable rail service with the capability of carrying an estimated 24,000 riders per hour per direction during peak periods. The complete O-Train system will span nearly 60 kilometres and include 41 stations.

    The confirmed federal and provincial funding allows the City to move forward with its innovative procurement solution for the Stage 2 extensions, including issuing the Request for Proposals for the extensions of both the Confederation and Trillium Lines, as well as ordering the additional vehicles required to service the expanded system.

    Quotes

    “Today’s announcement puts the final piece in place for the funding of the Stage 2 LRT project. We can now plan to put shovels in the ground in 2019 as we continue expanding our world-class LRT system. Building Stage 2 will not only create jobs during construction, it will also give Ottawa a competitive edge to attract talent and new businesses to our city once the project is complete.”
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    “Stage 2 will change the way commuters travel around the city. It will save you time and get you to work and home faster, expanding the reliability, accessibility and comfort of light rail transit. It will save residents money with reduced car costs, including fuel costs, vehicle wear and tear and even accident avoidance. It will take 14,000 vehicles off the road during rush hour and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 110,000 tonnes and air contaminants by 3,000 tonnes every year.”
    Councillor Stephen Blais, Chair, Transit Commission

    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
      • 38 km of new rail
      • 23 new stations
      • South extension
        • 11 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

     

  • 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

  • Mayor Watson announces transit pass for low income residents

    Ottawa — Today, Mayor Jim Watson, along with the Chair of the Transit Commission Councillor Stephen Blais, announced that a low income transit pass will be included in the City of Ottawa’s 2017 budget.

    The low income transit pass will be available at a significant discount on the adult general monthly fare for those residents who are at or below the income cut-off (LICO) as defined by Stats Canada. It will be available to residents with an annual individual income of approximately $20,000 or less, or a family income of approximately $38,000, for a family of four. The specific discount of the pass will be revealed when the budget is tabled at Council on November 9.

    This announcement comes after a year during which options to provide a low income transit pass were thoroughly debated in our community. Time and again, Ottawa residents have indicated that they support the City’s efforts towards providing lower income residents with affordable access to transit.

    “The low income transit pass will provide a more viable transit option for our working individuals who live on low wages,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Significant progress needs to be made wherever and whenever we can to make Ottawa a better place to live for all our residents. By offering a low income transit pass, the City is helping those who would otherwise not be able to afford to get around the City, either to maintain or find meaningful employment, or access healthcare.”

    The low income transit pass will be offered as a new type of monthly transit pass and will not be subsidised by the cost of other transit passes. City Council’s policy on the amount that OC Transpo collects from its riders versus the amount it collects from taxpayer contributions to transit will remain the same.

    “Introducing a new transit pass for low income residents will reinforce OC Transpo’s commitment to providing world-class, affordable transit for all Ottawa residents,” said the Chair of the Transit Commission, Councillor Stephen Blais. “This new transit option will help us create an even more affordable City for unemployed residents seeking employment, single parents, recent immigrants settling in Ottawa, or those temporarily out of work due to injury.”

    This affordable transit pass could benefit as many as 8,800 eligible low income transit users.

     

  • 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