‘At this point our cautious optimism is now just caution’: Edmonton mayor on Metro LRT Line

WATCH ABOVE: Edmontonians aren’t the only ones waiting for the Metro LRT Line to open.  So too is the signal company that’s been responsible for the delays in the first place. Vinesh Pratap explains.

EDMONTON – With summer right around the corner, it would appear all hope is lost that the Metro LRT Line to NAIT will open this spring.

After delay upon delay upon delay, the City of Edmonton’s Transportation General Manager said in January he was cautiously optimistic the $665 million line would be open by this spring.

But with the first day of summer on Sunday, that optimism has faded.

“At this point our cautious optimism is now just caution,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

“We will get it running eventually. At this point, I don’t know.”

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READ MORE: City of Edmonton ‘cautiously optimistic’ Metro LRT Line will open this spring

The line was originally scheduled to open in April 2014. Issues integrating the new signalling system have been to blame for the lengthy delay.

Thales Group is responsible for the $55 million signalling contract. In an email to Global News on Friday, Thales Group said it continues to progress the Metro LRT signal contract, but staff are no longer on site except for those retrofitting the remaining four cars in the fleet.

“Thales would like a committed revenue start date so that it can plan the appropriate level of support required,” said Emmanuelle Bleytou, communications manager with Thales.

“I’m as frustrated as anybody else that this LRT line has taken forever,” Iveson said Friday. “At some point this project will get finished, but until all of the engineers have signed off that it’s 100 per cent reliable and all of the bugs in the software have been worked out we can’t turn it on.”

READ MORE: City is still ‘cautiously optimistic’ Metro LRT Line will open this spring

While the city can’t say when trains will finally be ready for passengers, Iveson said an audit committee meeting has been scheduled for August 24 to go over the city auditor’s report on the project.

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“We wanted to make sure we had the entire day to be able to deal with it,” said Iveson.

When construction was complete, the Metro Line came in $90 million under budget.

With files from Vinesh Pratap, Global News.