Staff Report #9
April 29, 2020
To All Commissioners
Re: 2020 Commission Work Program Update
The report be NOTED and FILED.
The 2020 Provisional Work Program was tabled for Commission consideration at the January 29, 2020 meeting, with the intent to have the Work Program finalized subsequent to approval of the multi-year budgets for operating and capital expenditures.
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; and
- Effective Utilization of Infrastructure
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a number of initiatives included on the Provisional 2020 Work Program have been put on hold, deferred to the 2021 Work Program, or are pending cancellation. The updated 2020 Work Program set out in Enclosure I highlights all of the projects that have been impacted in some manner. The remainder of this report provides brief commentary on each of the initiatives that have been impacted.
New Initiatives added to 2020 Work Program
Ongoing Service Level Adjustments. Planning is already underway for the manner in which service levels will be re-introduced subsequent to Provincial orders being loosened, resulting in businesses re-opening and the potential return of students to schools. The progression of return to increased levels of service will be dependent upon resource availability (staffing and operating funding) as well as ridership trends, noting it is anticipated that ridership patterns and overall transit usage may be very different than pre-COVID-19. Given all of these factors, it is a reasonable assumption that service levels may not return to what would be considered normal for the remainder of 2020. As set out in the section below, consideration is being given to revising the 2019-2022 Business Plan to reflect the COVID-19 situation and the associated measured that will be undertaken to move out of the pandemic state of emergency.
Operator Barrier Implementation. At the April 17, 2020 meeting, the Commission approved proceeding with the procurement and installation of Operator barriers on the LTC fleet. Installation is anticipated to take place over the summer as the barriers arrive.
Provincial and Federal Advocacy. As indicated in Staff Report #8, dated April 29, 2020, advocacy efforts directed at both of the senior levels of government have been ongoing and are anticipated to continue in earnest throughout the remainder of 2020. The General Manager, as the Chair of the Ontario Public Transit Association (OPTA) and a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Urban Transit Association will be directly involved with these advocacy efforts.
Initiatives Delayed or on Hold Pending Further Review
All of the initiatives listed in this section have been delayed or are on hold given COVID-19 related delays. As resource availability returns to normal levels, initiatives will be initiated in priority order.
1.2 – 2020 Stop and Shelter Program. The shelter manufacturer that provides shelters relating to this program is currently shut down with no firm dates on re-opening. Prior to the installation of new shelters, cement pads are required to be poured. The ability to proceed with this program in 2020 will be dependent upon the timing of cement contractors being available and the manufacturer delivery dates provided upon reopening. Should the dates provided fit within required timelines, the program will proceed in 2020, otherwise it will be deferred to the 2021 Work Program.
1.5 – Assessment of Service Integration Options. Given COVID-19 related impacts on staffing resources, the assessment of options relating to the integration of the conventional and specialized services will be delayed.
2.4 – Assess & Implement Ridership Growth Strategy Initiatives. Given the current and potential long term impacts on ridership resulting from the current situation, focus will initially need to be directed at planning the path back for conventional transit operations in an effort to regain ridership prior to the pandemic. This may include some of the strategies set out in the Ridership Growth Strategy.
3.3 – Addition of Third Party Vendors for Smart Card Revaluing. Progress on this initiative has been halted given the current status of potential vendors in London. The timing of which this initiative can restart will be subject to the nature and extent that things return to normal in the retail sector.
3.4 – Assessment of Wayside Revaluing Options for Smart Card. Access to the third party vendor for this initiative is currently limited, with no potential date for a return to normal. Until such time as the vendor is accessible, no further assessment of this option can be undertaken.
4.6 Implement Smart Card on Specialized Transit. Access to the third party vendor for this initiative is currently limited, with no potential date for a return to normal. Until such time as the vendor is accessible, no further assessment of this option can be undertaken.
4.7 Regular Consultation with Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee. All advisory committee meetings have been placed on hold until further notice. In the event that consultation with the Committee is required, it will be arranged via email or some other method.
5.4 Mental Health & Wellness Strategy Implementation. The primary piece of the Strategy implementation for 2020 was putting remaining employees through the resiliency training module. Given resource requirements and social/physical distancing protocols, this training has been put on hold.
6.11 Process Review – Organizational Impact of Smart Card System. Given limited resource availability, work on this review has been placed on hold, noting the plan is currently to restart the review later in 2020 subject to resource availability.
6.12 Specialized Service Area Review. Given limited resource availability, work on this review has been placed on hold, noting the plan is currently to restart the review later in 2020 subject to resource availability.
6.13a Expect Respect Working Group. Given limited resource availability, meetings of the working group have been temporarily placed on hold, noting the plan is for the group to resume as resources permit.
6.13b,c,d Policy, Procedure and Process Updates. As set out in Staff Report #1 dated February 26, 2020, all work with respect to the third party review recommendations relating to the Mutual Respect and Human Rights Policies, Procedures and Process reviews was completed, with the only outstanding element being the rollout of the revisions and requisite training to all affected employees. Given current and ongoing resource issues, it is not currently anticipated that the rollout will be completed in May as originally communicated. This initiative will be given priority status as resources become available with the intent to complete same in the 2020 calendar year.
6.13e Additional Training for Management. Given difficulty sourcing possible training options during this time, as well as anticipated resource limitations over the upcoming months, this initiative has been temporarily placed on hold.
8.0 2019-2022 Business Plan. The 2019-2022 Business Plan was approved in principle noting that the approval of the multi-year operating and capital budgets would need to be completed prior to finalizing financial and performance targets. In addition, the associated Financial Strategy, Asset Management Strategy and Fare Policy were scheduled to be updated during the 2020 calendar year. In light of the uncertainty with respect to all areas of operations, these updates are being placed on hold, and consideration is being given to a complete review of the 2019-2022 Business Plan with a focus on moving forward post-COVID-19.
10.1 Assess Appropriate Timing of Customer Survey. Given limited resource availability, work on this review has been placed on hold, noting the plan is currently to restart the review later in 2020 subject to resource availability.
11.1 2020 Bus Replacement Order. Shutdowns at the bus manufacturing facility will result in delays in receipt of the 2020 bus replacement order, the extent of which is not known at this time, however it is possible receipt of these buses will cross over into 2021.
11.6 Replacement & Addition of Wayside Signage. London Transit is in receipt of all but 1 of the 2-line signs; however, given the work associated with installing them is not considered essential, work on installation has been put on hold. It is anticipated that work on this initiative will commence once contractors are available to undertake the installations.
11.7 Shelter Expansion Program. This program is funded through the ICIP Federal Funding program and was intended to see the addition of 60 shelters over a two year period (30 in 2020 and 30 in 2021). Given the shelters had not yet been ordered prior to the shutdown of the manufacturing facility, it is unknown whether the receipt of product is possible for 2020. In the event that product can be shipped, and restrictions with respect to essential services are lifted such that cement pads can be poured, this work will take place later in 2020.
11.8 Bus Stop Lighting Program. This program is funded through the ICIP Federal Funding program and was intended to see the addition of 150 solar powered lights installed at bus stops over a two year period (75 in 2020 and 75 in 2021). Given the lights had not yet been ordered prior to the shutdown of the manufacturing facility, it is unknown whether the receipt of product is possible for 2020. In the event that product can be shipped, this work will take place later in 2020.
11.9 Assessment of Electric Bus Options for LTC. The contract for this work has been finalized with CUTRIC, and the project kick off meeting has taken place, however CUTRIC staff members are now working from home, making the project work more difficult to undertake. The project was originally scheduled to have a final report issued by the end of July, this timeline has now been bumped to mid-October.
11.10 Process Review Implementation of Kilometre Tracking. Given limited resource availability, work on this review has been placed on hold, noting the plan is currently to restart the review later in 2020 subject to resource availability.
11.11 Process Review – Options for Cash Fares. Given limited resource availability as well as access to reliable market information, work on this review has been placed on hold, noting the plan is currently to restart the review later in 2020 subject to resource availability.
Initiatives Deferred until 2021 Work Program
1.1b – Implementation of 2020 Conventional Service Plan. The 2020 Conventional Service Plan was approved by the Commission at the January 2020 meeting, subject to final budget approval. As set out in Staff Report #4, dated April 29, 2020, the 2020 Service Plan has been recommended to be deferred for consideration in 2021.
1.1c and 1.1d – Assessment and Implementation of ASD for Industrial Areas. The planned introduction of an alternative service delivery model for industrial areas was also included as part of the assessment growth business case that supports conventional service growth. Given uncertainty with respect to funding availability as well as difficulties engaging with consultants during this time and internal resource issues, these initiatives will be deferred to the 2021 Work Program.
10.3 Assess Opportunities for Additional Public Engagement Options. Given uncertainties with respect to the length of time that social/physical distancing measure will be in place, and the impact same will have on engagement going forward, this item is being deferred to the 2021 Work Program.
Initiatives Subject to Cancellation
1.3 Assessment and Development of 2021 Conventional Service Plan. Given the anticipated changes in ridership levels and patterns currently and subsequent to the COVID-19 emergency measures being removed, a complete review will be undertaken in preparation of a proposed 2021 Service Plan in effort to ensure it aligns with priority needs and funding availability.
11.1 2020 Bus Expansion Order. Given uncertainty with respect to funding for the 2020 Service Plan, the expansion buses that were included as part of the ICIP Federal Funding have not been ordered. Should the 2020 Service Plan be implemented in 2021, the bus order will be included on that work program.
I – 2020 Provisional Work Program – Updated
Mike Gregor, Director of Finance
Shawn Wilson, Director of Operations
Joanne Galloway, Director of Human Resources
Craig Morneau, Director of Fleet & Facilities
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager