OC Transpo boss John Manconi retires – fr

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OC Transpo boss John Manconi retires – fr


John Manconi, long the face of public transit in the city of Ottawa, retires in September after a 32-year career with the city.
“Thank you for your 30+ years of service to the city – including his years as General Manager of Transportation Services,” Coun. Allan Hubley tweeted Thursday afternoon, the number of people who heard the news for the first time.

“Thank you for your hard work, advice and friendship during my tenure as Chairman of the Transit Commission. “

Long-time municipal worker – he started working for the pre-amalgamated city of Nepean in 1987 when he was in his early twenties – Manconi worked in surface operations including road maintenance and snow removal. Between 2007 and 2012, he was the General Manager of Public Works for the City of Ottawa.

But Manconi, 54, is best known to the public for his role as head of OC Transpo, a post he held eight years ago, just months before the board of the day signed the contract for the first step of LRT.

In July 2016, after a reorganization of the city’s management, Manconi’s role was expanded to include oversight of all city transport services, not just public transport.

According to the Ontario Sunshine List, he earned $ 295,624 in 2020.

Facing the LRT debacle

The head of a public transport agency occupies a relatively important position in any large city. This was especially true for Manconi, as he both oversaw the huge disruptions to OC Transpo’s service during the construction of the East-West Confederation Line, and was on several occasions the bearer of bad news regarding the project. TLR of $ 2.1 billion.

Although it was the Rideau Transit Group (RTG) that built and now maintains the light rail system, it was often the responsibility of Manconi to keep the council up to date on the progress and operation of the light rail, including many delays during construction and multiple problems after the line was launched a year ago.


As problems with the LRT persist, OC Transpo general manager John Manconi has championed efforts to restore uniform service on the Confederation Line. RTG CEO Peter Lauch said fixes for every issue LRT vehicles encounter will be incorporated into future train models. 1:15

While neither Manconi nor anyone at OC Transpo has been held directly responsible for the problems with the LRT, some have questioned whether the senior executive was keeping politicians – and the public – properly informed.

For example, in early September 2018, Manconi told advisers that the Confederation Line would not be ready until 2019, instead of this November as expected. Councilors running for re-election campaigned that summer, knowing the LRT would arrive that fall, and some felt blinded by the news of the delay.

In August 2019, after repeatedly telling advisers that RTG should deliver 17 double trains – 15 for rush hour service, plus two backups – Manconi suddenly changed his mind and said Ottawa didn’t need than 13 trains for peak service.

Last year, Manconi apologized to the council for failing to properly inform them that the city had paid RTG $ 4.5 million. A CBC article that reported the payment came as a shock for some advisers.

And in March, CBC reported that SNC-Lavalin had told the city it expected to be at least four months late in completing the Trillium line extension – information not shared with advisers.

John Manconi apologizes for not informing advisers of payment made to LRT contractors 0:26

Congratulations from the city leaders

Key city leaders were quick to thank Manconi for his decades of work, especially overseeing the LRT project.

In a statement, Mayor Jim Watson said Manconi “places the safety and well-being of residents, customers and staff
above all, ”and congratulated him on having maintained a good relationship with the transit union.

“As we all know, John was instrumental in the planning and delivery of the Ottawa LRT system, our
the city’s most transformative project since the construction of the Rideau Canal, “wote Watson”.
construction phase of the project, commissioning and launch, and a difficult first year
system troubleshooting. ”

City manager Steve Kanellakos, who has worked closely with Manconi for many years, said in a note to the transit council and commission that he was “very happy for John as he passed by. to the next chapter of his life.

“However, I recognize that his departure will be felt by everyone in our organization. John is dynamic, results
motivated leader who has carried the weight and burden of many leadership roles and over the past ten years. ”

Kanellakos noted that Manconi gave the city nearly five months’ notice of his departure, leaving ample time for the transition to a new senior executive. Kanellakos said he would have more details on the recruiting process soon.



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