Unprecedented action taken by Council to address LRT issues

The LRT Confederation Line has proven problematic prior to and since its launch in September 2019 — it has taken six months to come to this. Ottawa Council today voted at a special meeting to issue a Notice of Default to Rideau Transit Group (RTG) for their failure to address the significant issues with both the trains and the stations since inception. There will be no interruption to rail service. Municipal taxpayers and the City are protected under the Project Agreement.

A Notice of Default is a contractual notice advising Rideau Transit Group that it is in default of its obligations under the contract. Rideau Transit Group then has an opportunity to remedy those defaults.

“This is a strong escalation of the City’s legal rights under the Project Agreement,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “We signed a contract for a reliable system to support our City’s high transit ridership of 10,000 people per hour per direction – and to support our future ridership growth. The acceptable levels of service and reliability are detailed in our contract with RTG, but they are not being met.”

The City has delivered contractual notices in relation to performance issues and the lack of availability of the system. RTG has until March 31 to provide a plan of action and time schedule to remedy the existing problems on the Confederation Line. The City has also asked RTG to direct Alstom and other sub-contractors to improve their performance on an urgent basis.

“I firmly support the City’s decision to use every tool available in a very solid Project Agreement to secure better LRT service for our transit customers,” said Councillor Allan Hubley, Chair of the Transit Commission.

Council also delegated authority to the City Manager to take any other actions required under the Project Agreement to give effect to Council’s decision. No timeline was set to determine when all of the issues will be addressed.

City staff will report back to Council at its meeting on Wednesday, April 8.


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