OTTAWA -- Two Ottawa city councillors say the believe there is something citizens are not being told about the transit system as they push for an emergency meeting regarding recent issues with light rail and double-decker buses.

Speaking on Newstalk 580 CFRA's "Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron" on Monday, Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney and Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans both said Mayor Jim Watson and Transit Commission Chair Coun. Allan Hubley are hiding something.

"I believe there is something that we are not being told. I believe we are not being given the full information that we need to make the decisions as a board of directors, as council, as the stewards of your tax dollars to ensure we're getting the best and safest system possible," McKenney said.

"They also seem to have something to hide," Deans added. "They don't want to answer questions about a service that is critical to this city, that was funded by our taxpayers in an open and transparent manner, and that tells me there's something going on here that they don't want to answer public questions about."

Since Aug. 8, there has been a derailment on the LRT, which stopped all service for five days and led to several train cars requring inspections, 19 double-decker buses were pulled from service and later returned over steering issues that landed one bus in a ditch, and a train with a braking issue slowed service down for about 90 minutes last Friday.

Watson said earlier Monday that transit service has been running well despite these recent incidents.

"We had a year and a half of really good service, we had one week of really bad service. We've got to get back to the really good service and that's going to be done with actions and not simply words.," Watson said.

McKenney responded and said they still believe a public meeting is necessary.

"There are so many questions to be asked," the said. "We also need to make decisions and for those decisions to be made, we need to be sitting around a table. We need to be able to think through what needs to be done and what's the next step."

In a statement to CFRA, Watson's office said city staff have been as transparent as possible with the ongoing problems.

"The mayor has no idea what the two councillors are talking about and encourages them to provide specifics of what information they claim is being withheld," the statement said. "Staff have been providing councillors with full briefings, detailing all aspects of resolving the problems. Councillors will have the opportunity to have a full discussion on transit at its next meeting."

A memo to city councillors from Transportation Services General Manager John Manconi, released to the media late Monday, addressed several questions related to transit service, including the investigation into the axle bearings on the LRT trains, the smell at Parliament Station and whether there been any fires on double-decker buses in the past year.

Hubley is on vacation this week and declined an interview request with CFRA. He had previously denied McKenney's and Deans's request for an emergency meeting, saying city staff have released regular memos during the five-day shut down of the Confederation Line and added that staff are available to take councillors' questions.

McKenny and Deans plan to hold a rally at Ottawa City Hall at 11 a.m. Wednesday as they continue to call for a transit commission meeting before Sept. 20.

"We need the public to come and force this issue," McKenney said. "Nobody is here for our own good. We are here to represent the public. Wednesday at 11 a.m., we want the public to come out to support the call or a special transit commission meeting. Unless you come out, we won't get it."

O-Train Line 1 - Memo to Council_ 23 August 2021 by CTV Ottawa on Scribd