OTTAWA — At a recent meeting, Ottawa’s Transit Commission received a report entitled Transit Services 2021 Business Plan and Reporting on 2020 Business Plan, outlining the progress made on priorities identified in the 2020 plan and identifying key projects transportation services staff will work to deliver in 2021.
All projects in 2020 were initiated and either completed or nearly complete, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the report indicates.
- Introduced the ability for customers to renew their Community Pass, EquiPass, or Access Pass remotely.
- Established a “virtual line” in an effort to avoid physical line ups at the Rideau Centre Customer Service Centre and allowing customers to book appointments in advance in the future.
- Introduced the ability for Para Transpo customers to register monthly Presto passes in advance and use it to pay fares, which eliminates the need to carry a receipt. The tap function inside Para Transpo vehicles is slated to launch later this year.
- Launched a customer trial for a new touchless way to pay fares using credit cards and smartphones at O-Train Line 1’s Rideau Station, with a full roll-out across all buses and fare gates anticipated later this year.
- Developed a new performance measures and reporting structure, with the first report planned to go to the transit commission in April.
- Issued a contract for the supply of four battery-electric buses with New Flyer being awarded the contract and the buses anticipated to go into service in the fall.
- The Société de transport de l’Outaouais and OC Transpo, along with the Ville de Gatineau, have worked together since 2017 to prepare for a new STO bus route alignment through downtown to provide better connections with O-Train Line 1. It’s expected to go into effect in June.
The 10 key priorities for 2021 are: operational response to COVID-19; battery-electric bus project; transit fare working group; on-demand transit; enhanced real-time information for customers; permanent bus operator barriers; legislated improvements to operator breaks; O-Train Line 1 station improvements; rail simulator upgrades; and stage 2 O-Train project construction.