Monday, November 19, 2007

PrestOttawa

Some things cannot be paraphrased, and must be repeated verbatim. Here is the recommendations summary of a report presented to Transit Committee and to City Council in the City of Ottawa on November 13, 2007:

SUBJECT:
SMARTCARD FARE SYSTEM

OBJET :
SYSTÈME DE PAIEMENT PAR CARTES À PUCE

REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS

1. That the Transit Committee recommend that Council approve Transit Services joining the Greater Toronto Area Fare System (GTAFS) project with a view to full implementation of the Presto smartcard system in Ottawa by 2010 subject to the following conditions having been met by April 1, 2008:

· Provincial Cabinet approval of the proposal presented to OC Transpo by Ministry of Transportation staff as described in this report;
· Successful negotiation of central system fees to enable OC Transpo to reduce overall commission to approximately one percent;
· The STO Commission reaching a funding agreement to proceed with a technology upgrade; and
· Signing of the GTAFS Procurement Governance Agreement, the GTAFS Operating Agreement and the GTA Funding Agreement.

2. That the Transit Committee recommend to Council the delegation of authority to the Director of Transit Services to act on behalf of the City to approve and execute the GTAFS partnership agreements.

3. That the Transit Committee recommend Council approval of these recommendations be contingent on approval in the 2008 Capital Budget of an increase in project authority from $15 million to $21.200 million, recognizing that the actual cost to the City will be $15 million (or less) as a result of Provincial funding and the potential for Federal funding, as a result of the ability to integrate STO operations.
Yes, you read it correctly:
City staff is recommending that OC Transpo, the city of Ottawa's transit system (which has an excellent system that I had the pleasure of riding this past summer), sign on to Presto, the GTA fare card. They are not simply suggesting that they develop their own fare card, they are recommending that OC Transpo implement the Greater Toronto Area Fare System.

The part of this story that takes it from being odd to being hilarious is that if all goes well, they will be able to fully implement the system by 2010 - a system which the Toronto Transit Commission doesn't expect to fully implement until 2015, according to reports this past fall.

Labels: ,

4 Comments:

At 11/21/2007 7:34 PM , Anonymous Marcel said...

That sounds almost absurd. I wonder why they wouldn't develop their own. Well, it might spur the TTC to do something, not that I have much faith in them. I don't believe it too London most of a decade to implement the Oyster Card and we have far more stations than Toronto does.

 
At 12/05/2007 5:28 AM , Blogger Andrew said...

What will happen to Hull though? Will it use the Toronto farecard, or the Montreal/Quebec City one? If it uses the latter, then it will be inconvenient to transfer between Hull and Ottawa transit. If it uses the former, then Quebecers will complain that Ontario is stomping over them.

Conclusion: We will end up getting one national farecard, like the Netherlands has.

 
At 12/05/2007 10:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I expect there will develop a very strong customer push for integrated fare media, in the GTA and beyond.
On a recent visit to Waterloo Region (I'm based in Toronto), I found myself wishing for GRT to consider using Presto. This despite the fact that I am not convinced the TTC should spend a penny on replacing its "gravity"-based fare system before dealing with some much more pressing customer-service issues. $200-300 million is a lot of cash for fare cards.
The Ottawa/Gatineau scenario is just a more extreme example of the demands that will be placed on elected officials and bureaucrats to work out arrangements that serve customers not just within municipal boundaries, but visitors too.
Look at the US toll-collecting EZPass -- it is gradually spreading from the northeast US to states further to the west. Because drivers want it to.

BTW, Andrae -- congrats on being named to the Metrolinx advisory committee.

-Ed Drass

 
At 12/05/2007 5:34 PM , Blogger Dean said...

Does this mean that eventually Metrolinx will take over air travel from Toronto to Ottawa? Imagine how flying GO Airlines would be like...

"This is your captain speaking, we are expecting an unexpected short turn in Kingston..."

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home