Not enough spotters at LRT stations as CCTV cameras go down: Manconi
An LRT train rushes by the platform at Rideau Station. (Ted Raymond / CTV News Ottawa)
OTTAWA -- The head of OC Transpo says Rideau Transit Maintenance did not have enough staff deployed to properly signal trains for departure during a CCTV camera failure Wednesday morning.
In a memo, Transportation Services General Manager John Manconi said that at approximately 10 a.m., LRT operators reported issues with the camera system that allows them to view the platform before departing from a station.
In cases like this, Manconi said there are qualified spotters who signal to the train driver that the platform is clear and the train can safely depart. If there's no spotter, the driver must call the control centre to get the all-clear.
"These spotters have been in place since the launch of the system as an additional layer of protection," Manconi said. "If no spotter is available, the operator contacts the Transit Operations Control Centre, who can use their cameras to provide an all clear. Under no circumstances do trains depart without a clearance signal."
Manconi claimed there were not enough spotters Wednesday morning when the cameras went down, so OC Transpo employees had to fill in.
"I immediately contacted Peter Lauch, the CEO of RTG, and ordered that all resources be redeployed immediately," Manconi wrote. "I have ordered RTG to have spotters present on all platforms until further notice."
Why there weren't enough spotters at each station remains unclear. CTV News has reached out to RTG for comment.
RTG deployed more spotters the platforms as of 2 p.m., Manconi said.
CCTV cameras were brought back online at around 4 p.m., Manconi said in a follow-up memo.
Manconi said train operators followed all established protocols.
There are 12 trains currently on the Confederation Line. Manconi says service continues to run with "no delays to customers."