Friday, October 1, 2010

Answering O’Brien's Transit Vision

O’Brien has his facts correct when he states LRT has fewer drivers, but he has not provided you with the whole story. While LRT employs fewer drivers, operating costs for electrical, rail and computer specialists are twice that of BRT and result in a need for more employees at higher rates of pay.  Case in point is demonstrated in both Edmonton and Calgary where the implementation of LRT has resulted in more employees than Ottawa currently staffs with BRT

·         The capital cost for LRT is 2.58 times more expensive than BRT
·         The operating cost for LRT 2.19 times more expensive than BRT
In addition, the requirement for transfers will reduce ridership.  This, combined with longer trip times, will serve to both reduce fare revenues and raise taxes.

The data I cite was obtained from the following sources:
·         United States General Accounting Office
·         United States National Transit Data Base
·         McCormick Rankin “The BRT Business Case for the Greater Toronto Services Board”
·         Toronto Transit Commission
·         Ottawa Chamber of Commerce
·         The United States Transportation Research Board
Larry O’Brien has never produced a feasible financing plan for LRT. His plan, in 2009 dollars, costs 2.1 Billion increasing by 200 to 300 million per year.  Moreover, his plan will not be operational until 2019 and the financial result will be an approximately 1.8 billion dollar tax burden passed on to the taxpayers of Ottawa

The BRT proposal, by contrast, requires only the construction of a downtown tunnel at a cost of 735 million dollars.  Given that the provincial and federal governments have already contributed 1.2 billion to this transit initiative, the bus tunnel will result in no additional costs to the taxpayers and will be operational in 2015.

In short, O'Brien's plan for LRT will bankrupt Ottawa.


  1. The ideal engineer is a composite ... He is not a scientist, he is not a mathematician, he is not a sociologist or a writer; but he may use the knowledge and techniques of any or all of these disciplines in solving problems. (N. W. Dougherty, 1955)
    Vote for Any Hayon - Mayor of Ottawa, and you will see the City managed by a man who is the 'ideal engineer'.

  2. * Andy (sorry about that).

  3. Here is an interesting website to visit to get a third party's thought on Ottawa' transitway:

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  5. To 'Busted Rapid Transit': If you are so sure of your facts and figures, why do you not publish your opposition to Andy's plan under your real name? What else are you hiding?

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  7. To 'Busted rapid Transit': You are the one who lacks credibility. You continue to quote what you claim to be factual information, and to disparage Mr. Haydon's well earned reputation as a man who does not lie or make up facts to suit his agenda, unlike others. Everyone must wonder about Mr/Ms Busted Rapid Transit's facts and opinions and if he/she has any credibility at all. Use your true name, or stay away. You are wasting people's time.

  8. I agree totally with Busted Rapid Transit. The transitway has been a complete failure. From 1986, before the majority of the transitway was operational, until now, there has been very little growth in bus ridership in comparison to the city's growth and the growth in car useage. Nearly twenty-five years of little to no growth. Also, was it not Mr. Haydon's government back in 1983 that said the transitway project was going to cost $100 million, and by 1985 it had ballooned to $400 million. Plus finally, was it not Mr. Haydon's government back in the early 1980's that decided to build the transitway from the outside in, thus creating the massive problems we now face downtown. I think Mr. Haydon has done enough damage to this city, and it is time for him to step aside to allow someone with some long term vision to direct us into the future.

  9. Once again - another diatribe devoid of facts. I never give estimates without a thorough research exercise.
    The Transitway was built with a 75% subisdy for the Province of Ontario. Premier Bill Davis was awarded Transit Man of the Year by the American Public Transit Association, largely for the success of bus rapid transit in Ontario.
    For the record, which you can easily verify, the transitway was constructed in six contracts. All were under budget and collectively 113 million dollars under budget.
    The decision to do outside in was responsing to the Provinces request as they, at the time, did not have the cash to do the tunnel.
    As the creator of the Bus Rapid Transit, I take great pride, that according to the experts we are the best in North America. By the way according to the General Manager of OC Transpo, the ridership per capita is increasing every day.
    LRT (linked street cars) is a giant hoax that makes contractors rich and taxpayers poor.

  10. There is no question that the LRT lobby is worried to death .. because the fat profits for LRT might vanish if BRT is chosen.
    The Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Sun, and every member of Coucil has a copy of the BRT Business Case by McCormick Rankin who, by the way is at present a City of Ottawa Consultant. The importance of this document is that it clearly lays out the enormous Capital and Operating Costs for LRT as compared to BRT.
    I have made all my references available on my website about "statements and myths vrs reality and facts " which the Ottawa Citizen, The Ottawa Sun all local newspapers and every menber of council has been given.
    You might also check studies done by the United States Transportation Research Board.
    LRT (Streetcars) with ugly overhead wires is a giant hoak that makes contractors rich and taxpayer poor.
    Streetcars belong to the past steam engine era.