June 2000 numbers continue the upward trend with an 8.6 % increase for June 2000 vs. June 1999. July 2000 showed a 6.6 % increase in rides taken. It is worth noting that these increases are based largely on passes and not on cash or tickets, which are mainly holding steady - reflecting a stronger commitment to transit. To date, fare revenues are up by $749,000 (over budget).
A combination of high gas prices, new air-conditioned buses, a healthy economy, good service and new products such as the ECOPASS, annual pass and DayPass are credited with the record of uninterrupted ridership increases since January 1999.
The challenge for public transit is to increase ridership by 3 % a year to meet the Official Plan goal of 123 million riders by 2021.
All full-time students are reminded that they can get a 20 % discount by purchasing an annual student pass, available at any OC Transpo Sales and Information Centres. OC Transpo photo ID teams are also visiting 34 secondary schools, as well as college and university campuses over the next few weeks for the convenience of student riders.
Next summer will mark the expansion of Ottawa's existing transit system with the opening of the eight kilometer light rail line between Greenboro and Bayview. Residents are encouraged to forward comments or questions.
In-house Garbage Collection Exceeds Expectations
It has been just over a year since RMOC awarded waste collection contracts for the 1999-2004 period, and retained the services of Regional staff for one of the five residential zones (Hunt Club - Riverside Park areas). Because the waste management industry saw an enormous amount of consolidation through acquisitions and mergers in the mid-1990's, this approach was adopted in the interest of maintaining competitiveness while ensuring cost-efficient services for our residents.
After the first year of operation, in-house collection has generated savings of nearly $400,000 compared to the lowest private sector price tendered for the same work. Collection performance is reflected not only in terms of financial gains but also in the amount of recyclables which has shown a 10 % increase since June 1999. In addition to the operational savings, the Region has generated a total of $4.8 million in 1999 from the sale of recyclable material.
Additional Expenditures to Protect Drinking Water
The Region of Ottawa-Carleton supports the new regulations announced by the government of Ontario to ensure the safety of drinking water, and is well on the way to meeting all requirements. Water sampling and analysis requirements are already being met for the central water system, but the 4 municipally-operated communal wells will have to be tested more frequently. Up front costs are estimated to be in the neighbourhood of $630,000, as well as $570,000 yearly to administer the program.
Since the late 1980's the Region has produced a publicly-available annual water quality report which, together with extensive water quality testing results, is posted on our web site at www.rmoc.on.co/water-eau. Ottawa-Carleton is the first municipality in Canada to provide extensive water quality testing information on-line.
Red Light Cameras
Eight potential sites listed for red light camera installation have been analyzed by the selected contractor for technical suitability. Only the site at Bank and Walkley was rejected. In order to meet the deadline for a fall installation date, staff have replaced it with the intersection of Heron and Riverside. Recent on-site surveys confirmed a high level of red-light infractions at this alternate location. This site is also comparable to Bank and Walkley in terms of collision history and geographic location within RMOC.
New Cycling Map Available
A new cycling map has been produced which will be a valuable tool for all cyclists navigating throughout the Region. It shows whether bike routes are on major or minor roads, on paved or unpaved pathways, and our world-famous scenic Capital Pathway system and the brand new Trans Canada Trail.
Available for purchase - call 560-1223 for location of a retailer near you.
Region Receives Award for the Innovative Road Technology
In August, RMOC received the Peter J. Marshall Municipal Innovative Award for its use of pre-wetting technology on regional roads. The pre-wetting, anti-icing and ice control results in safer roads and uses less salt for a healthier environment. It further reduces rust problems as well as operational and material costs for private and commercial vehicles.
Chair Appointed for Central Experimental Farm Advisory Council
The Minister of Agriculture and AgriFood Canada established the Advisory Council in 1999 to operate at arm's length from the department and review project proposals and make recommendations about use of the lands at the Central Experimental Farm. Mike Nowosad has been appointed Chair of the Council and can be reached at 234-4448. Farm Council meetings are open to the public.
Development and Proposals Underway in Carlington/River Ward (September 2000)
1. Central Park/Ashcroft/Clyde Avenue Holdings: 1241 Clyde Ave. (former DOC lands); current status - public meeting held on August 16, 2000, in connection with proposed plan of subdivision approval for approximately 149 dwellings, mainly townhouses and semi-detached dwellings. The Region may not grant approval under delegated authority which means it will be necessary to proceed to Regional Planning and Environment Committee.
2. Minto Development - 1530 Fisher Avenue: corner of Fisher & Meadowlands; current status - Revised Site Plan Control Proposal for two one-story commercial buildings. New building proposed on south half of property to accommodate 1 or 2 retail uses. Building on north half to accommodate existing commercial uses plus one new retail use. The site plan also shows an outdoor patio. Deadline for comments was July 9th. but revised site plan now on hold pending outcome of appeal by local residents (By-law and Official Plan Amendment).