LRT service will add an 8th train on Thursday


An eighth train is expected to be added to Confederation Line service on Thursday as the LRT reverts to 11-train service with replacement buses returned to their previous bus routes, the transit commission learned Wednesday morning. .

In an update on the state of Ottawa’s transit system, commissioners heard that the Confederation Line that is slowly coming back into service is better than the one closed after a second derailment on September 19.

“We must be proud today that the safety work that needs to be done has been done,” new OC Transpo director Renée Amilcar said in French.

The head of the maintenance arm of the light rail manufacturer, who is responsible for making sure the system works properly, agreed that the Confederation Line which reopened last Friday is being upgraded.

“The system we delivered to you is better than the one that was shut down, said Mario Guerra, CEO of Rideau Transit Maintenance.

“It’s not a lemon”

The full shutdown allowed maintenance technicians to resolve outstanding issues that they had not been able to resolve during regular service, he added later in the meeting. This included speed restrictions along the line, Guerra said.

Com. Catherine McKenney asked about reports that the train “often slows down at breakneck speed” between Rideau and uOttawa stations. Amilcar said a piece of rail at Rideau Station was replaced on Wednesday evening to improve the noise felt in that area, but it is not clear that the new rail will improve speed in that part of the line.

Representatives from Transportation Resource Associates (TRA) – the consultants the city hired to review and approve the LRT’s return-to-service plan after the September derailment – said they would look into the speed issue at Rideau. .

TRA leaders told the public transport committee that the Confederation Line is strong.

“It’s not a lemon,” said Kenneth Korach, CEO of TRA. “There is no aspect of it that seems to me to be inherently flawed or deficient.”

Daniel Hauber, vice president of TRA, said “from a design standpoint, from a runtime standpoint, it’s really a great system… There is nothing inherently flawed.”

Amilcar said it expects 11 two-car trains to run by the end of the month and be available in December, when passengers can travel for free. OC Transpo officials say only 11 trains are needed to provide full service during COVID-19, instead of the 15 that are supposed to be available during rush hour service.

Buses that served the R1 service were returned Wednesday on local routes that had been canceled.

During the LRT shutdown, ridership was affected as people likely found other ways to travel because the R1 service is slower than the train, said Pat Scrimgeour, director of systems and planning for the LRT. ‘OC Transpo.

He said the number of riders fell by 100,000 in October compared to September. That means ridership last month was about 41% of what it was before the pandemic.

The transit commission also learned that RTM had not been paid for September or October because the LRT was down, but is considering whether to pay the group for November. The Confederation Line was down for 11 days this month and only offers partial service for the rest of November.

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