Staff Report #5
October 27, 2022
To All Commissioners
Re: 2022 Commission Work Program – Third Quarter Update
The report be NOTED and FILED.
The 2022 Work Program was approved by the Commission at the January 26, 2022 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 2022 Work Program that were scheduled to be completed by the end of the third quarter. In the event that detailed reports have been provided on specific Work Program initiatives, the Staff Report is referenced on the Work Program Summary update set out in Enclosure I.
2.2 c) Alternative Service Delivery Implementation. The next step in the implementation of Alternative Service Delivery to Innovation Park is the issuance and award of a request for proposal (RFP) for the on-demand software. This process has been delayed due to resource issues in the administrative area. The request for proposal will be issued in early November, with a contract award following. Subsequent to the software contract award, implementation timelines and details will be confirmed with respect to the launch of the service and the manner in which it is delivered.
3.2 Participation in City of London Safe Cities Taskforce. Work of this taskforce has continued through 2022, with the focus shifting to the identification of priority projects for 2023. Administration continues to participate in these meetings as well as on sub-committees as appropriate.
3.6 Zero Emission Bus Implementation Strategy. With Commission approval in principle of the Zero Emission Bus Implementation Strategy and direction to continue participation in the CUTRIC Joint Procurement initiative, administration has directed focus toward participation in the joint procurement initiative with the first step being the development and release of the Request For Interest for potential bidders for the supply of a turn-key solution including both electric buses and their associated charging infrastructure. In addition, administration has been working with civic administration to identify possible sources of funding and gathering the required supporting documentation for the business case to support the funding request.
4.5 Implement Smart Cards on Specialized Service. Administration has been working with Scheidt & Bachmann to identify and procure the required equipment required for portable smart card scanning on-board the specialized service vehicles. Supply chain issues associated with the hardware required have prolonged this process. Given the significant delays associated with this piece of the smart card implementation, administration is also considering other options that may provide a similar result (e.g. potential for use of the software which will also be utilized for ASD). This project remains a priority and administration will continue to assess all options available to complete the initiative as soon as possible.
6.8 Annual Review – Legislative Compliance. Changes to legislation impacting the organization are monitored and responded to throughout the year. In October, administration completed the Electronic Monitoring Policy which is a new requirement under the Employment Standards Act for employers to provide all employees with a copy of a policy that outlines any forms of electronic monitoring that are in place that may be used to monitor employees. All of the electronic monitoring in place at London Transit is subject to existing policies and procedures respecting the intent and scope of use (e.g. on-board video, Automatic Vehicle Location) and have been referenced as such in the new Policy. Consistent with the legislative requirements, all employees will be provided with a copy of this policy no later than November 11, 2022 and it will be included in the LTC Employee Handbook going forward.
8.1 Prepare Draft 2023-2026 Business Plan. A draft of the future business plan is traditionally shared with the current Commission near the end of their term in order to provide the opportunity for feedback and suggested priorities going forward. This feedback is shared with the new Commission as part of the Business Planning process. Given resource issues, this process has been delayed and as such, a draft Plan is not available for input with the current Commission. As part of the stakeholder outreach, administration will be reaching out to current Commission members directly in order to ensure their perspectives and advice are incorporated into the draft Plan that will be shared with the next Commission in the new year. In addition, an online survey will be utilized to gather feedback from all stakeholder groups following the municipal election, noting a specific survey will also be directed to all members of the next Municipal Council to ensure their perspectives are also included. Administration is also participating with civic administration in the preparation of the next Strategic Plan for Municipal Council, ensuring that important transit related initiatives are included.
9.1 & 9.2 OPTA and CUTA Membership. Advocacy efforts on behalf of the transit industry both provincially and nationally have continued throughout 2022. The Ontario Public Transit Association (OPTA) provided a pre-budget submission to the Province and also met with several Provincial Ministers to discuss the details. The submission focussed on the continued need for pandemic-related relief funding (Safe Restart) through the remainder of 2022 with the potential for further relief required in 2023, and the need to ensure that Provincial Gas Tax allocations are not negatively impacted by the decline in fuel sales during the pandemic. A transit awareness day at Queen’s Park is being considered for late November/early December where these topics will again be discussed.
The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) has formally submitted feedback to the Federal Government with respect to the Permanent Transit Fund which is slated to provide $3 billion annually beginning in the 2026/27 fiscal year. The recommendations set out in the CUTA submission (see Enclosure II) include the following:
- the Government of Canada accelerate funding to begin in April 2024 to better align with the sunsetting of ICIP and to make faster progress on housing supply and emissions reduction;
- the cost of the fund be protected over time; for the first five years, the fund should be set at $3 billion, increasing by an additional $150 million per year;
- that funds can be used in a flexible manner, as set out by transit system partners, to ensure investments addressing state of good repair for existing infrastructure and capital expansion projects are sufficiently financed;
- the majority of the funds be allocated to a core fund, distributed to transit systems based on ridership;
- a set aside for small to medium sized transit systems aimed at boosting ridership;
- the Government of Canada allow funding recipients to access and stack other governmental funding and financing sources; and
- the Government of Canada engage with the issue that systems must be operated once they are built, and to that end:
- the “housing action/transit operating support” arrangement set out in the winter 2022 federal budget be renewed for one year in the next budget; and
- a working group be struck to recommend long-term measures addressing how transit operating costs will be financed, while the permanent federal transit fund is in place
Administration will continue to participate in these advocacy efforts and will work with civic administration to ensure all feedback provided specific to transit funding remains consistent.
Added – Highbury Facility Replacement Review and Business Case As set out in Communication #2 dated August 3, 2022, Municipal Council directed civic administration to work with London Transit to develop a joint application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Public Transit Stream (ICIP-PTS) for a new facility at 450 Highbury Avenue North to accommodate transit service growth and the conversion of the LTC fleet to zero-emission buses. The guidelines for the ICIP-PTS program require that a completed business case be submitted to the Province for review and consideration by November 30, 2022 and subsequent to Provincial approval, will be forwarded to the Federal government for approval no later than March 31, 2023.
The Facility Review completed and presented to the Commission in 2019 determined that rebuilding a purpose-built transit storage and maintenance facility at 450 Highbury Avenue North was the preferred option for accommodating future fleet growth. At the time the study was completed, a transition to zero-emission buses was not considered. In order to prepare the business case for funding, the facility plan requires updating to include consideration of the charging infrastructure associated with zero-emission buses as well as to provide a more detailed cost assessment. As such, IBI has been retained to undertake an update of the 2019 study, which is close to complete. The completed report will be shared with the Commission at the next meeting, and will also be shared with civic administration as work is underway on the development of a Business Case and funding application for the project which will be tabled with Municipal Council before the end of the year.
Mike Gregor, Director of Finance
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Joanne Galloway, Director of Human Resources
Craig Morneau, Director of Fleet & Facilities
Caroline Roy, Manager of Corporate Communications
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager