Council has voted to create a new transit commission, composed of councillors and members of the public, to oversee OC Transpo.
The commission will take over from council’s transit committee. The citizen members, staff said, would be chosen for their expertise or special interest in transit. The new body is not expected to incur any new costs.
“It’s not my intention to set up another bureaucracy,” said Mayor Jim Watson at the first meeting of the new council yesterday. “It’s to try to stream- line the bureaucracy and allow the public a say in their transit system.”
Innes Coun. Rainer Bloess opposed the change, which he said would give delegates too much council control over matters like route cuts.
“We used to have a commission at the former region,” he said. “They had a strike. A commission is not the solution to everything. Some people seem to think that that brings with it certain solutions or is the panacea for all our woes. The fact is we were elected to oversee OC Transpo.”
The meeting, though, was mostly uncontroversial, and Watson said that he was pleased with its overall tone.
“One of the things that I’m very proud of is that there is a spirit of co-operation with the new council,” he said. “We want to get it right. We saw the last four years and I think the public sent a message to us: Work well together.”