After a year of jammed fare boxes, cancelled bus routes and cost overruns for a new bus garage, Ottawa city councillors approved a review of OC Transpo, saying that transit riders deserve better service.

Several incidents prompted the review, including:

  • maintenance problems last month leading to 100 cancelled bus routes;
  • the price of a new garage ballooning from $60 million to $97 million -- which isn't designed to hold double-decker buses;
  • city council cancelling a $17-million system that read out bus stops automatically after Bell Canada threatened a lawsuit.

The investigation will take two tacks: the city putting together a special review panel (including the solicitor) for matters related to procurement -- and ways to improve it.

The American Public Transit Association will also do an independent, peer review of OC Transpo, which was last reviewed in 1998 by KPMG accountants.