Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Transit, Ages, the City and the Future - A Happy Ending

Sometimes, the song lyrics are proven wrong in a happy way: you not only get what you want, but it's also exactly what you need.

The motion itself

Case in point? This morning at Ottawa City Hall.

The age limit on qualifying for student-rate bus passes is dead. To the last man and woman on city council, they repealed that ill-considered age limit of 27 in the name of economics and equity.

Last week, the Ottawa Transit Committee took the recommendation of the Pedestrian and Transit Committee to drop that age limit into the dumpster and ran with it. Unanimously. Given how the eight members of that committee tend to get on as a rule, you can guess how deeply the responses from the public at that committee hearing got to them.

Alex Cullen

At the full-council hearing, the Transit Committee's recommendation was put forth by committee chair Alex Cullen. There was some brief debate and comments by several councillors about assorted aspects of the topic before "ayes and nays" were called for.

Rob Jellett and company

In the end, council was as unanimous as the transit committee. Cullen had warned the people in the gallery last week that they had eight on the council in hand, and needed ten more to get the rule overturned. I suspect the students and their allies took that advice to heart.

Happy ending.

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