Deadline to hand over LRT keys 7 days away
With another major LRT deadline fast approaching, there is still no word when the city expects to receive keys to the light rail system.
Despite running trains for 12 consecutive days at all of the city's 13 stations, on full-time schedule, OC Transpo has still not revealed whether testing has been successful or when the handover from Rideau Transit Group will take place. The consortium has so far missed several key deadlines in the past 15 months; which has been marred by technical and logistical delays. The project is believed to have gone $50-million over-budget, 442 days after the inital target date of May 24, 2018.
According to the city's transit GM John Manconi, “The Independent Certifier will confirm whether the requirements of Trial Running have been achieved as part of finalizing the requirements for Revenue Service Availability (RSA). Once RTG has achieved all Trial Running requirements, staff will inform Council, Members of the Transit Commission, the public and media outlets.”
Still, many riders acoss the city are willing to wait as long as it takes to ensure the train system is safe.
"I think the city's doing the right thing, by having a contract where we won't accept delivery of the trains until they've been running without incident for a certain amount of time," said bus rider Tanya Middlebro. "For me, that's absolutely the kind of clauses i would hope to see in a major contract like this. So i'll just wait."
Several students at uOttawa however have been waiting patiently for light rail transit for years; only to suffer through agonizing buse service delays this winter.
"It would save us a lot of time because I spend over 40 minutes commuting; coming to school," said Sada Haruna. "In the winter, you cannot count on the buses, so we are hoping later this year it will be ready."
Others, like Ottawa resident Isabelle Schiavi, the wait will be worth it. "I would probably take the lrt, but with the delay, i'm hoping it's going to be soon."
Stil, many riders, like Middlebro believe there will be many kinks to work out once the system is launched.
"I'll probably avoid the first couple of days."