Airport not a stop on proposed O-Train extension
The City of Ottawa's Transportation Master Plan does not include a direct link from the O-Train to the Ottawa airport, an omission airport officials say they hope they can work to overcome.
The transportation plan tabled Wednesday afternoon before a joint transportation committee and transit commission proposes extending the O-Train with five additional stations at Gladstone, Walkley, South Keys, Leitrim and Bowesville.
But it narrowly misses the airport by one and half kilometres.
The decision comes at a time when Toronto is building a rail connection to its airport, and Montreal is also planning one.
City deputy manager Nancy Schepers said an airport spur would jeopardize the city's goal that commuters would be able to board an O-Train every eight minutes.
Airport link would slow O-Train, says deputy manager
"We're much better off to serve the ridership in the south-eastern community which are regular riders, every day, than trying to split the service and go into the airport," said Schepers.
Mark Laroche, the president and CEO of the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority, said he's prepared to work with the city plan.
"The debate is not over yet," said Laroche. "There may be possibilities where a better connection to light rail, maybe a spur, is not announced at this time but maybe there is room for improvement on that plan."
Laroche said possibilities include a shuttle service connecting the terminal to the O-Train.
He said he's not concerned about putting a dent in parking revenue, which last year generated $12 million dollars for the airport.
"My focus is getting people on their aircraft, it's not on generating parking revenue," he said.
The master plan does provide some benefit for car and taxi drivers travelling to and from the airport, as it calls for a widening of the Airport Parkway from Brookfield to Hunt Club, to make room for high occupancy vehicle and taxi lanes.