LRT Champion

LRT TO ORLÉANS A GENERATION EARLY

Investing in LRT will help reduce time wasted commuting and help us spend more time with our families.

✓  LRT to Orléans a decade earlier than before
4 LRT stops in Orléans
Saving time and money
5 minutes or faster service during rush hour
Reliable and comfortable trip to the downtown
Reduce emissions from cars and buses

When Stephen was first elected to City Council in October 2010 the City of Ottawa had NO plan to bring LRT to Orléans until sometime AFTER 2031.

Like many, Stephen thought this was ridiculous and immediately went to work to extend LRT to Orléans as soon as possible.

Disturbingly, Ottawa residents lose 81 hours being stuck in traffic, which is only slightly behind Toronto at 83 hours. When you consider Toronto has more than more than five times our population, these figure become even more alarming.

Investing in LRT will help reduce time wasted commuting and help us spend more time with our families.

Orléans has the highest transit ridership of any suburban to downtown trip in North America for a City of Ottawa’s size and will be the only suburban community in Ottawa to get the electric light rail in Stage 2 of our LRT plan.

LRT to Orléans is also the single biggest economic investment in the history of Orléans – jobs, jobs, jobs!

But Stage 2 is not just about Orléans – it will become part of a system, which will see LRT extended west to serve National Defense HQ at Moodie Drive and Algonquin College and south to the growing suburban community of Riverside South with the diesel powered Trillium Line.

When all legs of LRT are complete in 2023 Orléans residents will be able to cross the City with comfortable, reliable and environmentally friendly light rail transit.

Stage 2 of LRT will save commuters $7.1 billion in commuting costs over a 25-year period. This includes $1.7 billion in vehicle operating costs, $4.8 billion in time savings, and $600 million in accident avoidance.

Stage 2 will reduce Greenhouse Gases by 110,000 tonnes and contaminants such as carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and sulphur oxides by 3,000 tonnes over a 25-year period.

TIMELINE TO SUCCESS

His first meeting with City Staff after being sworn into office on December 1 was about extending LRT to Orléans.

It didn’t make sense. Orléans has the highest ridership of OC Transpo in the City but was going to be left out of the LRT plan for 25 years.

In August 2011 City Council approved Blais’ motion to review extending LRT to Orléans sooner than originally planned.

In May 2012, City Staff released a memo indicating that 2 options to extend LRT to Orléans sooner were under review.

CTV: City to study fast-tracking LRT extension to Orleans:
https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/city-to-study-fast-tracking-lrt-extension-to-orleans-1.831562

Despite heavy push back from west end councillors and skepticism from City staff Blais continued to push forward.

According to the most up-to-date and comprehensive travel data at the time, the Public Transit Modal Split from Orléans to Downtown Ottawa was 64%. That represented the highest modal split to downtown of any community in Ottawa. Given that Ottawa has the highest transit modal split in North America for a medium size city of approximately 1 million people, it is likely that the 64% transit mode split from Orléans to Downtown Ottawa is the highest suburban to downtown transit modal split in North America for a city of comparable size.

“Blais’ most important success so far has been convincing his council colleagues to direct city staff to consider bringing light rail to Orléans sooner rather than later.” – Joanne Chianello, Ottawa Citizen

In October 2013, Mayor Watson presented a new long-term plan for transportation in Ottawa and Light Rail to Orléans by 2022 was included. The original plan had LRT stopping at Place d’Orléans but after another year of lobbying Stephen was able to convince the Mayor that extending to Trim road was absolutely necessary and we worked to secure additional funding from the governments of Canada and Ontario to do just that.

“His efforts played a major role in bringing light rail out to the east…” – Sue Sherring, Ottawa Sun

“Stephen Blais…came to council in 2010 with the express aim of convincing the city to forget building the bus Transitway out to Orléans and go straight to light rail. Mission accomplished. And when that light-rail corridor is built just north of the Queensway, it will likely result in additional capacity on the highway, another of Blais’s goals.” – Joanne Chianello, Ottawa Citizen

8 years of progress

Getting things done. Results that matter!

PARKS & RECREATION

Healthy living for everyone
Stephen has pushed for 12 new parks to be built in Cumberland Ward and aging play structures have been replaced at 3 more parks. More...

SPEEDING

What if it were your child?
Stephen has lead the way with the introduction of traffic calming measures throughout Cumberland Ward. More...

LRT CHAMPION

LRT to Orléans a generation early
Investing in LRT will help reduce time wasted commuting and help us spend more time with our families. More...

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Better, higher paying jobs
As a result of Stephen’s efforts to reduce red tape, promote entrepreneurism and show off our rural areas thousands of new jobs well paying jobs have been created in Cumberland Ward. More...

ROADS

Reducing commute times
Stephen has made reducing commute times a top priority – helping ensure we can all spend more time with our loved ones, being more productive at work and the plethora of activities we enjoy in our free time. More...

OC TRANSPO

Faster more reliable public transit
Stephen has been focused on improving OC Transpo with new routes and higher capacity buses while keeping the bus pass affordable and providing more value to residents. More...