Ottawa's LRT nightmare continues: Downtown express buses to return for Tuesday rush hours
OTTAWA -- With LRT service in shambles, here come the buses.
A shortage of trains on the Confederation Line is expected to continue Tuesday, so OC Transpo says downtown express buses will run during the morning and afternoon commutes.
From 7:30-9:00 a.m., buses will run non-stop from Hurdman station to Albert St. and from Tunney's Pasture to Slater St. The same express routes will run from 3:30-5:00 p.m., picking up passengers on Albert St., just west of O'Connor near Parliament station, and taking them to both Hurdman and Tunney's Pasture.
"By operating buses non-stop over these busy sections of the corridor, more space will be made available for customers travelling on trains to and from other stations along the line," says Transportation General Manager John Manconi in an email.
OC Transpo staff will be on hand, helping commuters navigate the special buses. Manconi says the costs associated with operating the buses will be passed on to RTG.
In a memo earlier Monday afternoon, Manconi wrote that LRT would be running during rush hour with 10 trains instead of 13, meaning longer wait times for passengers, more crowds on platforms, and more trains filled to capacity.
Transit Commission Chair Allan Hubley has called a special Transit Commission meeting for Thursday, to update commissioners on the state of the LRT.
“The Mayor and the Chair, the City Manager and I have met with the CEOs of the RTG/RTM consortium to get briefed on what the issues are and demand that the issues with the trains and track be immediately rectified," writes Manconi. "We expect them to take appropriate measures to reduce the occurrence of issues on Line 1 so that we may provide reliable and safe transit services to all customers.”
LRT has had chronic problems since the troubled launch in the fall, but the system has never run on such a small number of trains.
This comes after a weekend of delays and replacement bus service, after blowing snow caused problems with switches.
Manconi says that Monday’s problems were blamed on a “compressor fault” and a “wheel issue” with two separate trains.