Transit Commission notes:  New OC Transpo performance measures approved, O Train update, mask blitz

CITY HALL – The Transit Commission approved OC Transpo’s new performance measures and reporting structure, which includes a twice-annual report to Transit Commission and a monthly results scorecard published on

Until 2014, OC Transpo presented regular performance reports to the Transit Commission. This reporting was temporarily suspended during the construction of O-Train Line 1, to resume after Line 1 had opened, and with revised measures to report on aspects of the new multimodal transit network. 

“The new measures and structure are based on existing performance measures, industry best practices and feedback from the Transit Commission steering committee,” city staff released in a statement after yesterday’s (Feb. 17) commission meeting. “The new performance measures for OC Transpo fall into four categories: safety, ridership, customer service, and service reliability. The first report will be presented to the Transit Commission in April 2021.”

The Transit Commission is recommending council confirm and extend the delegation of authority to the general manager of Transportation Services to allow and regulate the transportation of bicycles, electric kick-scooters and power-assisted bicycles onboard O-Train cars and on transit property and amend the Transit Bylaw to reflect this change.

“Since the launch of O-Train Line 1 service, there have been no operational issues observed with bicycles and no complaints received by Customer Service,” staff said. “In addition to the health benefits associated with using bicycles, allowing customers to transport these additional transportation methods on the O-Train system can help decrease the number of automobile trips customers may have otherwise opted for.”

The report also recommends that, for safety, Council amend the Transit By-law to prohibit the use of unmanned air vehicles (drones) on or over transit property where a permit has not been issued by the general manager. This recommendation will be presented to council on Feb. 24.

“The commission received an operational update on O-Train Line 1 service today. Rideau Transit Group (RTG) continues to make progress on its rectification plan, and has completed substantive work on the following items:

  • Switch heater failures
  • Overhead catenary system
  • Vehicle traction power
  • Vehicle passenger doors
  • Vehicle heating, ventilation, and air conditioning

Rideau Transit Maintenance and Alstom continue to perform the daily inspections on the train wheels, and a total of 16 vehicles have had their train wheels replaced to date. RTG has secured specialised equipment from Europe that allows wheel replacement work to occur at two work sites, which has helped accelerate the work. The Transportation Safety Board’s (TSB) investigation continues. All elements associated with the wheels have been shared with TSB, and their report is expected in 2021. In addition, an independent assessment report on RTG’s rectification plan is nearing completion, and additional information has been requested from RTG to complete the assessment.

To reduce costs, provide additional capacity and further improve reliability on Line 1, the city is implementing the following:

  • Effective the first week of March, rail service will be adjusted to operate on an 11-train peak period service schedule for two months.
  • Due to the pandemic, ridership continues to be low. An 11-train schedule provides a minimum of five-minute service throughout the day and provides physical distancing for customers.
  • Monthly savings to the city will include a $100,000 reduction in service payments to RTG and a reduction in electricity consumption estimated at approximately $50,000 to $60,000.

A reduced service plan provides RTG with an opportunity to expedite work to continue to improve reliability and consistency on vehicles, train wheels, vehicle modifications, etc.

On Feb. 3, OC Transpo held a one-day Operation Mask Up blitz to reinforce the importance of wearing masks while onboard buses or trains or while in stations. Overall, customer compliance was very high. Specific results of the blitz include the following:

  • No customers were denied access to the system for refusing to wear a mask
  • Three customers were fined for not wearing a mask ($260 fine per person)
  • 67 customers were told to adjust their masks as they were not wearing them properly
  • Nine customers had medical exemptions

For more information on city programs and services, visit or call 311 (TTY: 613-580-2401).