Ask Me About the Budget: Session 4 with Transportation Services and Corporate Services

Ask Me About the Budget: Session 4 with Transportation Services and Corporate Services

Now is your chance to ask one or more of Edmonton’s senior managers about the City budget, and the programs and services the City provides.

Do you have questions about how the City manages the budget for transit, snow clearing, and its 311 service? Post your questions here, and on Monday, November 23, we’ll have senior managers from Transportation Services and Corporate Services answering those questions live during one in a series of “Ask Me About the Budget” sessions. This is the fourth in a series of five sessions on the budget.

November 23, 2015, noon-1pm. Ask Me About the Budget: Session 4 with Transportation Services and Corporate Services

The Transportation Services Department encompasses more than just moving people, goods and services around Edmonton. The department designs, builds and maintains essential infrastructure that shapes our urban form and impacts our economic well-being.

The department manages all aspects of the transportation system including:

  • the Edmonton Transit System (ETS)
  • LRT expansion
  • road and bridge design and construction
  • bike paths
  • snow clearing
  • pothole repair
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Answering your questions about this part of the City’s work will be General Manager Dorian Wandzura.

 

The Corporate Services Department provides expertise and services through 311, the City’s website, Open Data, legal issues, contract management, city purchasing, fleet services and human resources.

Answering your questions about this part of the City’s work will be General Manager Kate Rozmahel.

Answering your questions about this part of the City’s work will be General Manager Kate Rozmahel.

You can check out the City’s proposed budgets in a number of different forms:

Submit your questions on this blog, now and in the days to come for Transportation Services and Corporate Services. We’ll be publishing the questions and posting live responses during the lunch hour on November 23, 2015. Join us then for a live, interactive question and answer session.

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23 Comments
  1. rob
    1 year ago

    Any plans for a parkade at Century Park? It is pretty ridiculous to promote transit use and Park and Ride especially, when at the beginning point of the LRT in the south, if you arrive past 8AM, it is impossible to park..It would have been better to leave Heritage Mall’s parkades intact and fit for use.

  2. Daniel
    1 year ago

    Before I moved back to Edmonton, I heard 311 was not working well. Now, when I call, I receive great service, but often the call centre person just looks on the city website for information. I usually get what I need, but it is inconsistent. My questions: how many people are working in 311 now and was staffing the reason why service was bad at the beginning and is good now? Sometimes when I ask for information it takes a couple days for people to get back to me. Are there standards for responding to 311 calls? Finally, I like the new 311 App, but I wish I would get an alert when my complaint is dealt with – such as when I notify about the elm trees knocked down in a storm. Is that an enhancement coming?

  3. Munsef
    1 year ago

    The city just removed another bicycle lane because it was not wanted by people in the area. I think that’s 4 removed. Why would the city plan to install any more bike lanes? This is a winter city and the fact that they keep getting removed shows no one wants them.

  4. LovesGreenOnionCakes
    1 year ago

    Thanks for promoting this on Reddit. My questions are for Dorian: Is there more money for late nite transit in the budget? When I get off work (bar) I have to look for a cab because no transit is running. Also, when are you going to have lve GPS on all busses so I can wait inside until I see mine coming?

  5. City of Edmonton
    1 year ago

    Welcome to the fourth in a series of five sessions we’re holding on the City’s budget and the programs and services the City provides. We are holding these live blogging sessions as part of the public discussions we are having on the proposed 2016-18 Operating and Utilities budgets. City Council will be making decisions on those budgets at the end of November and beginning of December. This is one opportunity we are providing for concerned residents to ask your questions or express your thoughts about the City’s financial priorities.

    With us today are two senior managers with the City of Edmonton: Dorian Wandzura, who is the General Manager of the Transportation Services department and Kate Rozmahel, who is the General Manager of Corporate Services.

    Dorian and Kate are here for the next hour to answer questions you may have about how the City manages its transportation system, customer information services, human resources, fleet services and other programs/services that Transportation Services and Corporate Services oversee.

    Here’s how our live blog session works. You can ask your questions by commenting on this blog post. We’ll take a look at your question and then prepare an answer for you right away. We’ll take as many questions as we can over the next hour. Any questions we don’t get to, we’ll do our best to answer them in the next little while.

    So get ready to ask your questions at today’s Ask Me About the Budget: Session 4 with Dorian Wandzura and Kate Rozmahel.

  6. Dorian Wandzura
    1 year ago

    Hi Munsef. City Council has recognized the role of high-quality cycling routes, where bikes will be separated from motorized traffic, to encourage Edmontonians to cycle more.

    In June 2014, City Council approved the 2014 – 2018 Bike Infrastructure Plan that concentrated the City’s focus on building high quality bike lanes in core areas of the city where cycling is already popular. A September 2014 Bannister Research study concluded that 49% of Edmontonians polled support funding on-street bike routes. Reasons given for this support include safety, supporting a healthy lifestyle, reducing pollution and giving people travel options. Having said this, Council has directed the removal of some painted bike lanes, but has committed to engage communities on building high-quality cycling routes.

    Since June, the City has gone through an extensive public engagement process to arrive at the protected bike lane designs planned for 102 Avenue and 83 Avenue. These two routes currently show an average of 400 – 600 cyclists per day, although the City can expect a doubling of usage once the cycle tracks are installed.

  7. Laura
    1 year ago

    How many neighbourhoods does the city planning on revitalizing in the next few years?Do you have to increase your budget to allow to complete more neighbourhoods?

  8. Troy Pavlek
    1 year ago

    The city has a large (and continuously increasing) number of digital properties. From the main edmonton.ca website, to one-off websites regarding info about the budget, or affordable housing strategies, etc. We also have a couple of apps (namely 311 and ETS Live).

    Most, if not all, of these properties were built by outside contractors. Clearly digital remains in the strategy for Edmonton (as it should be). Given that this is the case, why is more software development not brought in-house? These are assets we want to retain for a long time. We should be growing the expertise and innovation of our own, which will make both our properties better and foster more innovation because those who experience the day-to-day problems of working with the city will be empowered with the tools to solve it.

    Any thoughts on that?

  9. Dorian Wandzura
    1 year ago

    Hi LovesGreenOnionCakes. In September 2015, Edmonton Transit began the first phase of providing transit service throughout the night, by extending service on major corridors until 3:30 a.m.. There is a budget proposal being considered to continue expanding late night service in 2018.

    Edmonton Transit is in the final stages of equipping all buses with GPS technology, which provides real-time schedule information to our customers on the ETS website or on the ETS live app. Real-time schedule information is also available through other apps including Google. Approximately 30 routes are real-time enabled now. Real-time schedule information for all routes will be available by mid-2016.

  10. Kate Rozmahel
    1 year ago

    Hi Daniel: There are 150 full time equivalent staff working in 311. Staffing was increased a few years ago to enable the call centre to meet better service levels including answer times.

    Some requests that come in to 311 take longer than others. Inquiries for transit information, for example, are resolved immediately. Requests for service are sent to the appropriate business units for prioritizing. A request to clear up downed tree branches, for example, would depend on whether there is a concern for public safety or it’s more an aesthetic issue, which would put it lower on the priority list.

    We are glad you like the 311 app. With the functionality we have now, you can revisit your request on the app to see if there are any changes to its status. We are investigating whether we can have a notification sent back to the requester once the request has been completed or has changed status.

  11. Laura
    1 year ago

    Is the city planning on making their website more mobile responsive? How does the city decide a budget for your website (s)?

  12. Dorian Wandzura
    1 year ago

    Hi Rob, thanks for your question. We know that many of our Park and Rides are busy and demand exceeds supply. Park and Ride at Century Park is mostly on property leased from the adjacent property owner. We are looking at the future of Park and Ride in conjunction with the overall development in the area (which is zoned for Transit Oriented Development), as well as the Transit Strategy and a review of our Park and Ride policy. We will continue to monitor the demand for park and ride in the area and work with the developer of the Century Park development to see if a parkade is feasible and works with their plans and the LRT system.

    Planning and design for a park and ride facility in Heritage Valley (near Ellerslie Road and 127 Street, at the site of a future LRT station) are underway. It is anticipated that the facility will be operational by 2020, with parking capacity greater than we have at Century Park. Until the LRT is extended to Heritage Valley, frequent shuttle bus service would be available between this site and Century Park LRT station.

    See the Park and Ride website for more information.

  13. CL
    1 year ago

    When can we expect the Valley Line announcement of which P3 won the project? Excited to see this get started and forever change the face of Southeast YEG!

  14. Marc Baillargeon
    1 year ago

    What does the future hold for DATS? Will a better trip management system be coming? And what happened to the automated phone system we were supposed to get this year? Just curious!

  15. Kate Rozmahel
    1 year ago

    Hello Troy, thank you for your great question. I am very proud of our application maintenance and development staff, who work in our IT branch. I think it is important to remember that all the content and design of our web sites are developed by City Staff. Only the hosting and publishing are done by an external organization and we do this for cost considerations.

    Of our 140 business applications and 5 major systems almost all of them are enhanced and maintained by our professional IT staff. When we have an opportunity for a new “app,” we look to see what other organizations have done as it usually is less expensive to buy than to build. But even then we use our in house IT skill to integrate with existing systems.

  16. Dorian Wandzura
    1 year ago

    Hi Laura, thanks for your question. The city is planning to reconstruct 20 neighbourhoods in 2015 – 2018 and another 18 neighbourhoods in 2019 – 2022, as part of the Neighbourhood Renewal Program. On average a typical neighbourhood reconstruct takes two years and includes roads, sidewalk and streetlight replacement. We also do work in dozens of other neighbourhoods, repaving and maintaining roads. This plan is based on our current proposed budget.

    We would need to increase the budget to complete more neighbourhoods, however we feel this is the right pace for revitalization over the long term. There is a balance we try to strike between the amount of work that needs to be done and the amount of disruption in the community.

  17. Dorian Wandzura
    1 year ago

    Thanks CL. Stay tuned for a major announcement later this week.

  18. CL
    1 year ago

    Thanks, Dorian!

  19. Kate Rozmahel
    1 year ago

    Hey Laura, thanks for your question! Yes, the City is working on providing a more mobile-friendly website, which will work across multiple platforms (ex., Android, iOS, etc) and is included in the current 2015-2018 Capital Budget.

    The Corporate Web Office is a program that ensures that content is relevant, accurate and up-to-date. Their budget includes staff to coordinate both the design structure and content of the website.

    As with all programs, we try to balance delivering excellent service while being careful with tax dollars. The City undertakes an annual survey with Edmontonians about their experience with our website. As part of the survey we ask for citizens’ suggestions on how to make the web experience better. It was from last year’s survey that we initiated the redesign of our website to improve its “responsive design.”

  20. Kate Rozmahel
    1 year ago

    Did you know you can speak to City Council directly about the proposed budgets? A non-statutory Public Hearing is scheduled for this afternoon beginning at 1:30 p.m. and running till 9:30 p.m., depending on the number of speakers. The hearing is an opportunity for residents to speak directly to Council about the budgets before Council makes a final a decision in the weeks to come. To speak at the hearing, register online at edmonton.ca/meetings, call the Office of the City Clerk at 780-496-8178 or register in person at the Office of the City Clerk – 3rd Floor, City Hall. City Council will finalize the budgets in discussions that begin November 27 and continue till mid-December.

  21. Dorian Wandzura
    1 year ago

    Hi Marc. Thanks for your questions. The existing trip management software is being upgraded in 2016. The upgrade will allow us to better optimize the service, and our customers should see improved trip delivery. DATS presently has a 98% trip accommodation rate, with on-time performance in excess of 90%, and our goal is to improve on this performance.

    The automated phone system is currently being upgraded, with a new interactive voice response option being added in 2016. DATS also has online options (IBook), which allow customers to view, book or cancel trips.

  22. City of Edmonton
    1 year ago

    That’s all the time we have for today everyone. Thank you for tuning in and asking such great questions! This session has helped us learn more about your priorities for the budget, and we hope you learned a lot about some of services and programs the City provides for you and your neighbours.

    Answering your questions today were: Dorian Wandzura, who is the General Manager of the Transportation Services department and Kate Rozmahel, who is the General Manager of the Corporate Services Department.

    Join us again Wednesday for Ask Me About the Budget: Session 5 with Edmonton Police Service and its Deputy Chief Danielle Campbell. Check out the blog post about that session and send in your questions.

  23. leeway logistics blog
    1 year ago

    It is great to hear that Edmonton city manages so many diverse services. It is a great thing that you are probing readers to ask questions regarding budget and management. Great move has all the appreciation and applause. Good job!

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