Maybe its time to steal transit ideas from Burlington?

Whoa, it’s been a while.

I’ve decided to try this blogging thing again. Basically, I spend enough time thinking about things, I might as well write them down in some place. Besides, with a municipal election coming up in 2014, I’ll probably have things to say from the peanut gallery sidelines.

Anyway, let’s ease into this by talking about Presto’s upcoming “upgrades”. If you are of the handful of often-frustrated people that use the Presto online services, you’ll probably know that they are starting a software upgrade today. There will be some service interruptions as they upgrade software so that (among other things) funds actually show up on your card right away.

That’ll be a nice change, but really just brings the system in line with how we expect stored-value cards to work in 2014. But what if we were to upgrade Presto so that it made some of the harder decisions, like whether or not you needed a pass in a given month, for you?

Presto keeps a log of how often you use the bus over the course of the month. You can even claim the transit tax credit if you take enough single trips. What if, after you’ve spent a certain amount of money or taken a certain number of trips, it just stopped charging you for future trips? Basically, you get a monthly pass after you’ve paid for one.

Crazy talk, right? I mean, that probably would require a whole re-working of the system and some re-programming that would take a pile of money and time.

Nope. That’s actually how Presto works in a bunch of the GTA communities where it was first implemented. Some are monthly (Oakville, Burlington), a bunch work weekly (Mississauga, Hamilton). Cutely, most even call it a “loyalty program”, rewarding you for using the bus. I suppose it’s more compelling than telling people that they inadvertently bought a bus pass.

Basically, Presto doesn’t work this way in Ottawa because no one has thought to make it work that way. It’s a no-cost way of improving the transit user experience in Ottawa, and a new feature might even build a little good will following the debacle that was Presto’s roll out.






Radio Topics for May 28th

You know that Summer is really here because Adam is back from BC. At 8:05 Mike will be speaking with Erin George, the co-founder of Cycle for Sight about their upcoming Ottawa event. As well we will have our usual mix of music, news and current affairs. We air every Tuesday from 7-9am on 93.1 CKCU FM or at for everyone not in Ottawa.

However, not to let Ford get all the attention… The Senate Expense Scandal continues.
File under disgusting… Bed bugs on Edmonton buses.

Radio Topics, July 31st

We’ve got an exciting show lined up today- at 8:30 I’ll be speaking with the President of the Hintonburg Community Association, Jeffrey Leiper, about the goings on in the community, including concerns about developer access to planning staff at City Hall and proposals for new condo towers.

We’ll also touch on some of the following:

Occupy Ottawa was handled fairly by police

Settle soon, school boards told

One weekend into the Olympics, and already some results might be too good to be true

Goodbye, Coliseum building

…and perhaps the more famous Coliseum building as well.

More mortgage rate wars

To the beemobile!

Radio Topics for June 26th

The last Tuesday in June. Happy early Canada Day as next time you hear us, Canada will be another year older. We have an exciting show lined up for you. At 7:30 Adam will talk to a member of local area band The Flats about their new E.P and their upcoming shows. At 8:45 Mike will be talking with a representative from Amethyst Women’s Addiction Centre regarding their fundraising events.  As per usual we air on 93.1 CKCU FM in Ottawa and online at for everyone else.

Is Ryan Murray worth all the draft picks you have? Garth Snow thinks so.

Montana law banning corporate donations in state elections is struck down by the US Supreme Court.

Toronto Pride began yesterday and yet again, Rob Ford had other plans so couldn’t be there.

Tories pull their punches with ad attacking Mulcair.

Oracle CEO buys an island…and not a little one either.

Liberal leadership speculation now shifts full time to Justin Trudeau.

the Canada-Obama relationship souring?

Supply management is again a point of contention in free trade talks.

Radio Topics for June 12th

Today promises a break from the heat but it returns on Wednesday and is here to stay. We have an exciting show lined up this week as Mike and Adam speculate and give their opinions regarding the Polaris Music Prize. The long list of 40 nominees is announced on Thursday. As per usual we air from 7-9am on 93.1 CKCU FM in Ottawa and at for everyone else.

Capital Hoedown is now more like party on a ranch in Stittsville.

Compare and contrast: official twitter accounts in Canada vs. Sweden.

Trees in Holmwood Park meet the chainsaws much to local residences’ protests.

Toronto bans plastic bags as a gigantic FU to Rob Ford.

Mulcair vs. Harper regarding Canada’s role in contributing money to a European bail-out fund.

European Championships kick-off amid concerns regarding racial attitudes in Poland and the Ukraine.

House of Commons sleep-over! Fight over budget bill begins this week.

Radio Topics for June 5th

The hot weather has run away and June has started with clouds and cold. I don’t mind at all but I suspect most everyone else is wondering where summer went. This week we will feature new music from Moonface and from Japandroids! As per usual the Tuesday Morning Special Blend airs from 7-9am on 93.1 CKCU FM in Ottawa and online at for everyone else.

The two crime stories that everyone is talking about so we will also talk about them:

Eaton’s Centre shooting
Luka Magnotta

Canadian websites go to black…and white to protest Conservative’s omnibus budget bill

Watch a small black dot go slowly across the face of the sun!

Ontario Catholic school trustees are concerned over the fallout from opposition to Bill 13.

International Mental Health Conference occurring now in Ottawa.

60 years and counting for the Queen.

Presto is here…are you impressed?

Thank god the Ontario government is here to protect our children…from BINGO.–

Radio Topics, May 29

What a show we have for you today! At 8:00, I’ll speak with Jaime Alexanderson about the Cycling For Sight event taking place in Ottawa this weekend. At 8:30, Adam will speak with Wanda Gibson about the “Save the Gatineau” concert taking place this Thursday at the Carleton.

We’ll also touch on some of the following:

So long, Sunday Citizen. So longer, big portions of postmedia editorial staff.

Rob Ford quit weighing himself in public.

BC parents vote to limit wifi in schools.

…but at least they’ll have a family day!

Thomas Mulcair’s had 11 mortgage’s on the same house

Lightning strike kills teen in Ottawa.

Radio Topics

Hope everyone had a good Mother’s Day and enjoyed Bikefest. We have an exciting show lined up for you this Tuesday with three interview. At 7:30 Mike will be speaking with Elizabeth Creary about the upcoming Craig Cardiff show/fundraiser taking place on Saturday the 19th. At 8:05 Mike will speak with Dave Gallson about the Defeat Depression walk on May 27th at Vincent Massey Park. Finally, at 8:30 Mike will be speaking with Andrew Caddell about about his new book of interviews with key officials in multilateral organizations. As per usual we air from 7-9am on CKCU 93.1FM in Ottawa and for everyone else.

Conservative government to allow slaughterhouses to process already dead animals.

IPO for Facebook could be values at an obscene amount of money.

Obama comes out in favour of gay marriage…thank you Joe Biden.

Conservative’s send massive budget bill to House of Commons committee despite NDP’s best efforts.

Bizarre BC hand-gliding tragedy continues to be in the news.

Swing state with a large latino population? Time for Florida’s Republican government to scrutinize the voters list.

Radio Topics for May 8th

Already the second Tuesday of May. Adam is back for the summer and we have three interviews for the show, everything is as it should be. Now If only Ottawa was still playing hockey. At 7:30 Adam will be speaking with Cheryl regarding the 12th Annual Hintonburg Tulipfest which will include a plant exchange, brownie bake-off and horse and trolley rides. At 8pm Mike will be speaking with Caron from MEC regarding Ottawa bike-fest taking place on Sunday. As well Caron is going to perform her own version of the famous 80′s song “Busta Move!” Finally at 8:15 Mike will be speaking with Cynthia regarding Defeat Depression Day. As per usual we air from 7-9am on CKCY 93.1 FM in Ottawa, online at for everyone else.

Mayfair Orleans in financial trouble only 6 months after opening.

Just when it looked like both sides in Quebec’s tuition fee stand-off had reached a starts to unravel.

Student suspended for wearing a religious t-shirt is now taken out of school by his own bible waving father. Sigh…

Rob Ford vs. The Toronto Star.

Anti-austerity parties win big in Greece and France.

The Tories want to pass the entire budget in one giant bill, the NDP is not happy with this plan. The Tories don’t care.

Radio Topics, May 1st

Happy May Day! Once again, we’ll be joined this week at 8:00 AM by Caron Cheng from MEC to talk about Bikefest on May 13th. We’ll also be talk with people from the Otesha project. At 8:30, we’ll speak with Risa Sargent from CfSC about their Tulips on Two Wheels event on May 5th.

We’ll also talk about some of the following:

Quebec student protests are ongoing, students move to negotiate.

More Royals are coming! It’s costing money!

Nonsense story of the week: Canada’s bank “bailout”

Friends of Lansdowne lose again.

Someone took Marc Garneau’s space ships.