Staff Report #4
October 27, 2021
To All Commissioners
Re: 2021 Work Program – Third Quarter Update
The report be NOTED and FILED.
The 2021 Provisional Work Program was approved by the Commission at the January 27, 2021 meeting, noting given the ongoing pandemic, program timelines were subject to adjustment throughout the year depending upon the nature and extent of pandemic-related impacts on the organization broadly, or specifically on a project.
The Work Program format categorizes initiatives into each of the five strategic outcomes established in the Commission’s 2019-2022 Business Plan as set out below.
- An Integrated, Affordable and Valued Mobility Choice
- An Engaged, Diverse and Respectful Workplace
- Demonstrated Fiscal Accountability
- Being Open, Understood and Transparent
- Effective Utilization of Infrastructure
The remainder of the report provides commentary with respect to the items on the 2021 Work Program that were scheduled to be completed by the end of the third quarter but have been delayed or deferred. In the event that detailed reports are provided on specific Work Program initiatives in this agenda, the staff report is referenced on the Work Program Summary update set out in Enclosure I.
1.4 b) Implementation of Specialized Transit Service Plan. The 2021 Service Plan for the specialized service called for the addition of 6,000 annualized hours of service, which is typically introduced in the fall of each year. Given the continued lower levels of demand for this service relating to the impacts of COVID-19, additional hours are not required at this time. As the ridership demand has increased over the past few months, service levels have been increased to match demand, and this practice will continue through the remainder of the year.
1.5 Integration of Conventional & Specialized Services. The plan to begin looking at trip integration between the two services has been put on hold due to COVID-19; however, best practices in other jurisdictions continue to be monitored and discussed at transit meetings and conferences.
2.4 Assess & Implement Initiatives from the Ridership Growth Strategy. The Ridership Growth Strategy set out a number of initiatives intended to grow ridership on the conventional service. The onset of the global pandemic required focus to be directed at responding to the pandemic-related issues while keeping services operating and as such, this initiative was deferred.
3.3 a) Addition of 3rd Party Vendors to Smart Card System. This initiative calls for the introduction of smart card revaluing equipment at 3rd party locations across the city to expand options for smart card customers. Unfortunately, the pandemic essentially halted progress on this initiative given the numerous lockdowns and refocus of retailers at pandemic response. Administration has continued to work with the smart card system vendor to identify the most appropriate technology solution for this implementation over the past number of months in preparation for discussions with 3rd party vendors to resume.
6.9 Process Review – Organizational Impact of Smart Card System. The Process Review Management process is a key process with an underlying objective of revisiting targeted areas of the organization to ensure that the right people are directing the appropriate resources at the priority tasks. The move to smart cards has resulted in a number of changes to administrative processes relating to fare management, and as such, this area of the organization has been targeted for a review. Given the redirection of resources throughout the pandemic period, this project has been deferred.
6.10 b) Additional Training for Management. The 3rd Party Review of London Transit’s policies and procedures relating to mutual respect in the workplace recommended additional training for the management group focused on the use of respectful language within a diverse workplace as well as managing difficult conversations. This training was scheduled to occur in 2020 but has been deferred due to the pandemic.
7.15 Review of General Insurance Program. The 2020 general insurance renewal resulted in significant premium increases as well as increased deductible levels for the liability coverage. As a result, a review of options relating to general insurance coverage was included on the work program for 2021. Discussions with the transit sector across the province indicated this experience was consistent, and as such, the Ontario Public Transit Association intended to conduct a survey and possible working group to assess any best practices and/or options to mitigate continued premium increases going forward. This project was deferred due to the ongoing response efforts associated with the pandemic.
9.4 Commission Annual Drop-In Session. Pre-pandemic, an annual drop in session was held in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) which afforded the public to provide commentary to members of the Commission and administration with respect to the Commission’s Accessibility Plan. Given gathering limits and other public health measures in place throughout the pandemic, these sessions have been deferred.
10.3 Assess Opportunities for Additional Public Engagement Options. The traditional manner of gathering feedback from the public by holding public drop-in sessions has been in use for many years. Attendance at these sessions had been declining over the past number of years leading up to the pandemic, and as such a program to review opportunities to implement additional options for public engagement was added to the work program. While the actual review was deferred as the result of the pandemic, the methods of communication throughout the pandemic have provided for some lessons learned and options for consideration going forward including online surveys and video conferencing (both one-on-one and group sessions). This information will be utilized in the program review when it gets underway.
12.8 Bus Stop Lighting Program (ICIP). Business closures and supply chain issues experienced throughout the pandemic period have resulted in this program being deferred. All appropriate paperwork relating to the ICIP funding program have been submitted and the program will recommence in 2022.
12.10 Process Review – Implementation of Kilometre Tracking & Reporting. This program looked to implement the various procedural changes identified in a previously completed process review relating to the manner in which the kilometres travelled by the conventional transit fleet are tracked and reported. Given the required re-focus of resources throughout the pandemic period, this program has been deferred.
12.11 Process Review – Assess Farebox Options for Cash Fares. The replacement of the existing farebox equipment on the conventional transit fleet is one of the final pieces of the smart card implementation, noting once paper tickets have been phased out, cash will be the only option for fare payment in addition to the smart card. Given supplier shutdowns throughout the pandemic, coupled with the delays in the rollout of revaluing equipment to 3rd parties, which is a required step in the process to eliminate paper tickets, this project has been deferred.
Administration will continue to provide updates on key projects through the remainder of the year and a summary report on the 2021 Work Program will be provided to the Commission at its January 2022 meeting at the same time the 2022 Provisional Work Program is tabled for review and discussion.
Mike Gregor, Director of Finance
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Joanne Galloway, Director of Human Resources
Craig Morneau, Director of Fleet & Facilities
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager