The city of Ottawa does not expect the line from the federation light rail transit (LRT) to be launched until sometime in 2019.
This last setback comes on top of a contract extension of six months that had already delayed the expected opening of the Ottawa public line until the end of 2018.
The city's financial and economic development committee heard Monday that the consortium that built the 13-stops east-west line, the Rideau Transit Group (RTG), has told the city that the contract could not meet all their contractual obligations by a deadline of 2 November. a six-month extension granted earlier this year.
John Manconi, the manager of transport services in the city, told the commission that RTG asked the city to remove some requirements for LRT test runs and suggested adjusting the size of the LRT fleet, as well as partial station and line openings and soft starts.
Manconi said that the city of Ottawa has rejected all those requests from RTG, because these concessions would jeopardize the operation of the system – something that the city is not willing to take & # 39;
"(RTG is) obliged to carry out all these tasks and the city is determined in its position because we will hold RTG liable for its contractual obligations," said Manconi. "RTG's options carry the risks for the city on many fronts, including operational, reputation and potentially leading to additional costs."
"At the end of the day you build a light rail system for the customers and they have to get what they have promised."
Manconi told the board members that RTG's latest update came after the city had commissioned a third party to independently assess the progress of RTG, which was completed on August 17 and had "called" RTG about the claim that the line would be ready. are to be transferred to November 2.
"We said sorry, we do not see the proof," said Manconi.
The latest news from RTG, said Manconi, is that it would aim to complete all the requirements laid down in the contract with the city on 30 November. On this basis, with all the test of the job, vehicles and computer systems that remain, Manconi estimated that this could not all be completed "until the new year".
Several council members expressed deep disappointment and frustration about the news about the delay.
"I'm pretty angry now," Cumberland Coun said. Stephen Blais, chairman of the city's transit committee.
Manconi told council members that he and city manager Steve Kanellakos & # 39; next steps & # 39; will discuss with RTG and insist that they & # 39; keep the feet for the fire.
If it does not meet the November 2 deadline, RTG will be fined $ 1 million and the city will continue to withhold any remaining "milestone payments" for the LRT line, Manconi confirmed.
The Transport Services Manager told the council members that OC Transpo will not make any further changes to Ottawa's bus routes and schedules in the light of this news. The autumn 2018 schedule took effect on September 2 and processed changes in more than two dozen routes in anticipation of the launch of LRT.
In response to a question from Blais, Manconi said that there is nothing to this last Confederation Line delay that he believes will affect the construction of the Stage 2 LRT.
More to come…