OC Transpo General Manager John Manconi has provided an update on the Confederation Line at the city’s Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCo) meeting.

Manconi told FEDCo members Friday the deadline for Rideau Transit Group (RTG) to handover the system to the city remains the same: Q2 2019. When asked about a realistic timeline for passengers to board the trains, Manconi estimated it would be sometime in the summer.

Members learned RTG has applied to move forward on the required 12 days of testing and is awaiting approval.

Manconi says a third party independent certifier will look at the application, known as a Substantial Competition notice.

“Substantial completion signifies that the project has advanced to the point where construction and testing is effectively complete. It means they’re done,” Manconi said. “It applies to all elements of the system: the trains, the rail, the vehicles and so-forth. Everything you’ve paid for in that $2.1 billion contract.”

If approved, RTG will move into the two week trial phase. The system must work flawlessly all 12 days before it can be deemed ready.

The outcome from the independent review is expected to be released Monday. If the application is denied, RTG will then submit a corrective action plan and the review process starts over.

Members were also updated on LRT stations and vehicles.

Manconi says all 13 stations are now complete.

When it comes to vehicles, Manconi says work is still required to fix ‘minor issues’. He used the example of a sliding door inside one train needing to be repaired.

“RTG has an obligation to you to deliver the fleet, all 34 vehicles, in a state of readiness. No major outstanding issues can remain,” Manconi said. “RTG needs to continue to focus on that with Alstom.”

Manconi says the Alstom vehicles are good vehicles, but some minor issues still need to be shaken out.

“We have a very good rail vehicle coming to us,” he said. “If all the vehicle experts I’m paying a lot of money to come and talk to us and review this stuff in detail had any red flags, we’d be raising that with you. The best thing that RTG can do right now is have laser focus and be accountable for getting those vehicles for the state that we need, and put the pressure on Alstom to make sure they deliver.”

Mayor Jim Watson says he has spoken with the head of Alstom and has been assured all trains will be ready by the end of Q2 2019.