‘It hasn’t gotten done’: Transit Chair says RTM failing to uphold maintenance agreement
Published Tuesday, January 21, 2020 8:40AM EST Last Updated Tuesday, January 21, 2020 6:35PM EST
OTTAWA -- The Chair of Ottawa’s Transit Commission says the company that inked a 30-year deal to maintain the $2.1 billion Confederation Line hasn’t been holding up its end of the bargain.
Speaking on Newstalk 580 CFRA’s The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll, Allan Hubley said Rideau Transit Maintenance has been dealing with significant issues of their own making.
“They know what the problem is,” he said. “The issue here is the maintenance that was supposed to be done on those trains—regular normal maintenance to those trains, and the line, the switches and so on—would have prevented all of this. RTG knew what they had to do; they have a 30-year contract to do it. It hasn’t gotten done.”
OC Transpo said RTM had only provided them with eight trains Tuesday morning, well below the normal fleet of 13 trains that run during the morning commute hours. A short time later, OC Transpo said RTM had provided a ninth train.
Hubley said the trains themselves have been experiencing problems with their wheels.
“There are some flat spots showing up on the wheels,” he said. “There’s a low tolerance level for flat spots because it can cause other issues.”
He reiterated that, in most cases, the solutions are known, but the work hasn’t been done.
Mayor Jim Watson told CTV News Monday the City has withheld millions of dollars in payments to Rideau Transit Maintenance and will continue to do so until the ongoing issues are resolved.
Hubley said he told RTM they can’t lose sight of the bigger picture.
“It’s one thing to talk about the issues and how to fix them, but we cannot lose sight that this is affecting people’s livelihoods,” he said, adding he’s heard stories of people losing jobs or opportunities because of the unreliability of the LRT.
“We cannot have that as an ongoing problem,” Hubley said. “John [Manconi] was very clear with RTG telling them what they needed to do ahead of time. The fact they haven’t done it and they’re not prepared for when these things happen is beyond frustrating.”
We have reached out to RTM for comment.