Some passengers bailing: $70 Uber ride instead of risking LRT
The chronic problems with Ottawa’s new LRT are not going away any time soon. In fact they might be getting worse.
Natalia Maximo just couldn’t risk it Wednesday morning with a vet appointment and her cat named Audrey Hepburn. The trains are just too unreliable.
“I would say I haven’t given up, but I am frustrated beyond belief”, she said.
She took an Uber instead, costing her more than $70 round trip. She believes Uber is jacking up prices, because of chronic LRT problems.
“The pricing seemed extremely outrageous”, Maximo said.
Trains continue to stall, and it is clear technicians and engineers at Rideau Transit Maintenance, the private contractor hired to operate the system, have not been able to identify the problem yet.
The problems seem to be with the train’s complex software systems, not working consistently together, causing stalls or trains to become “immobile”. OC Transpo officials insist these problems did not appear during testing of the system.
In fact, “vehicle electronics” disruptions are far more common in Ottawa than they are in other cities running light rail.
In other cities, 16% of the disruptions on LRT are caused by problems with onboard computer issues. In Ottawa, the number is 46%. That statistic was made public in early November, before problems seemed to accelerate. It’s possible the situation is even worse now.
Catherine Marion says her son a UOttawa science student, was late for an exam Wednesday because of mid-day, off peak problems with LRT.
“He just got there late”, she wrote in a message to CTV Ottawa. “He needs every minute of time to get through an exam. This is the second time this has happened to him” Marion wrote. “Professors don’t care about the why…they just know you’re late.”