• The BRT Vote and Better Transit, What Does It All Mean?

    After almost 4 years of the Matt Brown led council insisting that their BRT plan absolutely had to be an all or nothing decision, staff clearly indicated to the new council that not only could the BRT plan be broken up into pieces and still be viable, but that other options besides the old BRT plan were available which could qualify for provincial and federal funding.

    A list of 19 projects came to council to decide which ones to submit for federal and provincial funding approval. These included; 5 component pieces of the old BRT plan, an intelligent traffic signal management system, bus stop amenities including 60 new bus shelters, the purchase of more buses, a portion of the Adelaide St. underpass design, an intersection improvement project for Wharncliffe & Oxford, Thames Valley Parkway connections, pedestrian connections to the transit network, new sidewalks, and three different cycling proposals along with a couple of others.

    What changed from the old BRT plan? Continue Reading

  • In Debate on BRT: The Argyle View

    Discussing in the first video how Argyle residents feel about always being left out when it comes to service and investment from city hall.

    In the second video, presenting an amendment to the East London Link rapid transit proposal to include improved service to Argyle, the airport, and employers along Veterans Memorial Parkway to get people to jobs.

  • Making a Responsible Budget Decision

    In the 2019 Budget deliberations an item of contention arose around removing $521,000 from the anticipated budget costs that was earmarked last year for a provincially legislated minimum wage hike. With the change in provincial government, that requirement was removed. It was the staff recommendation that we not proceed with a wage increase and remove that earmarked amount from the budget.

    Advocates have argued that “it was in the budget already, you shouldn’t remove it”. But of course things that were not anticipated had to be added to the operating budget, including additional funding for ambulance services to tackle growing response times ($590,000), cycle network maintenance ($408,000, required to meet new provincial standards), mental health funding for police officers ($161,000) and restoring seniors bus tickets ($285,000) transit access at a more affordable rate. In total, over $1.4 million in operating costs not planned for were added.

    The result, the increase this year is 2.7%. In comparison a senior in our community living on Canada Pension Plan benefits will receive only a 1.5% increase.

    Making budget choices is never easy. And whether in a council seat, or as resident of the city, budget decisions need to balance care and cost, and also need to be considered in context and in impact, not ideology. Continue Reading

  • Time for Leadership with Good Ideas in Ward 2

  • Better Transit, a To-Do List that isn’t all about BRT

     

    Let’s be honest eliminating poverty in a generation. Not something a City Council can do by itself. Bringing more jobs? Well, a city council can create a good environment for that to happen in again not something a city council can do on it’s own.

    But fixing transit…that folks is something that with leadership at City Council and through it at the London Transit Commission, that is something that can be done! Transit is something wholly under the city’s control. Continue Reading

  • Bus Rapid Transit, an Argyle Neighbourhood Viewpoint

    As chair of the Argyle Community Association, I have been pressing the City of London to hold public information sessions on the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan outside of the Central Library and in neighbourhoods where people live.  This week, BRT information  FINALLY came east of Highbury, when the Argyle Community Association hosted city staff at an information session at Clarke Road Secondary School.

    What I learned in trying to get people to attend was that people feel that this is a done deal, that there is nothing they can do to stop, change, or improve it. They feel nothing they have to say is genuinely going to be listened to. Continue Reading