Alternatively: There's some additional activity there, but the last time anyone other than me posted there was 2012. So, if anyone who's planning to hold onto their LJ account wants to keep it going, I'll transfer ownership.
The Pelling Lab is based out of the University of Ottawa, and they may be able to save you some grief in terms of downsizing when it comes to stuff that uses electricity if you live in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Details here:
The first of these was already being organized before the shootings this morning. But both are worthy of our attention in any case.
Noting a few other things for the record...
Starting with the city's announcement of an environmental assessment as a prelude to possibly extending the Confederation Line of the O-Train network to the Canadian Tire Centre(AKA Corel Centre AKA Palladium). If this goes all the way to actually building the tracks and running the trains, there'll be a lot of happier hockey and music fans in this city. Especially out here on the eastern end, owing to the current transit times via the 4xx-series bus routes that feed that stadium on game and concert nights. And even if the Ottawa Senators do end up moving from Kanata's Palladium Drive to Lebreton Flats as many hope, the convenience will still be there for many on the western end of the line.
(Sidebar 1: And I can't see the CTC not still being useful for all manner of major public events for the next couple of decades in any case. Provided the facility is properly cared for by whoever owns it. Yes, that's a piece of advice to the owners I want to see heeded.)
(Sidebar 2: As soon as I see a link to City Hall's page(s) on the matter, I'll set that up here.)
Back to those Unrealistic Expectations held by OC Transpo management.
They're hoping to be rid of paper tickets and bus passes forever, with all regular users forced into the Presto card system. Effective next year.
Not a welcome idea. I want those physical proofs of payment, partly as souvenirs in their own right, partly as tax paperwork documentation. Because tax credits for public transit usage. And because the Presto system requires using the internet to pay the monthly fare. I don't know that I'll be able to maintain my own access to the internet until I'm physically unable to use public transit anymore (hopefully due to extreme old age). More to the point, there are many other people across this city who share such financial uncertainties for any combination of reasons. And even if we can figure that out, internet access can be denied to entire populations due to accident or malice. We've seen an example of the kinds of unexpected infrastructure issues that can pop up today with the Rideau Street Sinkhole Incident.
Better to leave transit users the option of paying for hardcopy bus passes for the long term. Much better.
We now have a clearer sense of how OC Transpo plans to act over the next two years or so as they bring the Confederation Line of the O-Train network online. Some of which makes sense, and some of which strikes me as problematic.
Renumbering of routes, fine. There'll be some weeks of confusion over that, no matter the amount of publicity ahead of time. It can be reduced but won't be completely eliminated. We can cope with this.
Fare reductions for monthly bus passes strike this chronically underemployed citizen as an outright boon. Even though I wonder about the consequences of ending Express routes, it's a financial improvement.
Here's a thing that disturbs me, though, and I ask CBC News to forgive me the direct quotation:
The arrival of light rail in 2018 will save the transit service $14 to $15 million per year in operational costs, Manconi said, because each train will do the job of eight articulated buses, requiring fewer operators.
"There will be a reduction of the workforce. We're just finalizing those numbers now," said Manconi. "We're going to work collaboratively with the union and respect how we do that with our employees and look at various options."
I don't think they fully understand the consequences that many of us are hoping for. Specifically, I'd like to see more trip frequency for local routes within the various neighbourhoods across the city. Also, better connections between neighbourhoods that won't be as well served by usage of the LRT "spinal" routes that we will have starting in 2018. Say, if you want to get from Stittsville to Manotick, or from Orléans to Alta Vista but not by taking the O-Train.
So I can't see a reduction in the work force - drivers, mechanics, etc. - as really being a tolerable option. Logistically or politically. Admittedly, this is an instinctive response on my part, so I expect to see additional information that might answer such concerns.
"Transit logistics"...a polite way of saying that buses can't handle everywhere I'd like to go in the region, for reasons of physics, budgets and physical safety of staff and passengers alike. And our light rail component isn't yet as far-reaching as the most ambitious of us in such matters would like yet. Ottawa-Gatineau has one line right now, with a second under construction. That second needs two more years before they'll certify it as safe enough for passengers to use on a daily basis. Track is still in the process of being delivered and laid down. Since the winter hasn't completely freed us from its grip yet, there's a lot of preparations yet to be made to resume the process.
And that's just for the Ottawa side's "Phase One" projects. Never mind our "Phase Two" still on the drawing boards. Gatineau is still playing catch-up on the "bus-rapid-transit" front. Their STO service just opened up a dedicated "Rapibus" roadway a year or two ago, and while there's a way to connect the O-Train network to the Rapibus line, there's a lot of paperwork and haggling between city halls, and the feds and provinces, before it can be done.
We're making progress and people can see that progress as it happens. But it's still not as fast as a lot of people need it to become. Employment, commerce, governmental logistics, recreation, family connections, a lot of stuff could become easier...but we have to wait. And persist in pushing for things to move.
Keep that website bookmarked, okay? Because there's lots of news to come between now and September...
And here's their home pages, English and Français:
If you know someone who might be able to use this, pass the word along!
Meantime...weather's been going from one extreme of frost warnings last night to the other with 28℃ being the expected high temperature today. This is meteorological whiplash in action to some extent, although Ottawa-Gatineau hasn't been getting it nearly as badly as certain other regions of the planet in recent days.
Some stuff of interest in recent days:
A whole new look at Love Boat-type cruise line operations and the hazards the crew and passengers alike face, courtesy of propublica.org.
The Toronto Star just wrapped up a four-parter on the Precariate, those of us with less-than-stable work lives. (There's a fourth article in the series I can't yet find a link for.)
More later on other stuff...
Back in 1990-1992, I went to Algonquin College for the second of two diplomas earned there. That second diploma was in animation for television. Being sidetracked into other lines of work to pay off the student loan, I never got around to working at any of the studios at home or abroad...but those studios "at home"? There's still a few based right here.
One of them is PIP Animation, and an upcoming achievement of theirs got profiled by CBC News recently - by their own admission, for promoting CBC's entertainment programming side of things - that you might be interested in.
Hint: it involves Donald Sutherland.
No, I didn't work on this. But it's good to see the local entertainment industry grow a bit more capacity...