‘Safe, reliable and affordable’: Ottawa mayoral candidate Param Singh releases transit platform

By Alex Black

Ottawa Mayoral candidate Param Singh is promising to create a world class transit system that is safe, reliable and affordable.

Singh announced his transit platform on Monday, Sept. 19, in which he said it's time to rethink how the service is delivered and address the ongoing issues plaguing the current system. 

“Having travelled the world, I have had the opportunity to take public transit in many countries,” Singh said. “I have used the transit system (subway, bus, train) in New York, New Jersey, Amsterdam, Paris, San Francisco, Delhi, and grew up in Montreal using the STM. They all have one thing in common — consistent, reliable, and affordable service.”

Singh said, if elected, he would also establish a Transit System Review Committee comprised of experts to review Ottawa's transit system and make recommendations on how to improve it.  

Singh has outlined the following steps as part of his plan, which he said is “simple”:

  • Looking at scheduling and ensuring that the bus routes are on time.
  • Increasing bus routes in suburban areas to meet the community's needs.
  • Temporarily freezing fares in the first year and see how we can make it more affordable overall.
  • Making the EquiPass affordable for low-income residents.
  • Ensure that any new fleet of buses (electric or otherwise) and light rail vehicles meets Ottawa's harsh weather conditions and requirements.
  • Invest in Para Transpo so that they are on time.
  • Ensuring that OC Transpo Media office is transparent and proactive with messaging to the residents.
  • Looking into creating new routes that would connect communities together.
  • Stop outsourcing maintenance and bring it back in house.

For years, we have predominately and exclusively taken a top-down approach to decision making regarding transit within our city,” Singh said. “Maybe it's time we engage with a bottom-up review to see what feedback the actual operators and managers can provide. My engagements to date have provided wonderful insight into the challenges faced by our transit operator OC Transpo. This is invaluable to helping to address our transit issues.”

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