June 13, 2018 11:08 pm

Edmonton looking at alternate solution for Metro LRT Line if Thales can’t deliver

WATCH ABOVE: City councillors are debating the problem-plagued Metro Line LRT this week. The mayor confirms they’ve been looking at alternatives to signal contractor Thales. Kim Smith explains.

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Mayor Don Iveson was tight-lipped on Wednesday about a closed-door meeting this week where councillors heard from the City of Edmonton’s legal experts about the problem-plagued Metro LRT line.

Iveson said disclosing information could jeopardize the city’s negotiations with Thales, the company responsible for the signalling system along the line.

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“We ask for everyone’s patience that we’re doing our best to negotiate this,” he said. “We’re holding the contractor accountable. There’s lots of legal back and forth here. For us to play that out in the news or in the newspaper is not in Edmontonians’ interest.

“We’re as frustrated as anyone.”

Despite uncertainty around the contract, Thales was conducting testing over the weekend. On Sunday morning, the Capital Line and the Metro Line were temporarily shut down to allow for the system testing.

READ MORE: Councillor calls Metro LRT delay ‘boondoggle’ after leaked report

On May 1, city officials confirmed Thales had not met the April 30 deadline to fix the issues troubling the LRT line. The city served Thales with a notice of default under the contract.

Thales presented the city with a new plan and timetable for fixing the line and signalling system. Iveson said he couldn’t elaborate on whether the city accepted the new timeline.

“There has been back and forth between the city and Thales and that will continue and that would be best done not in public. I wish there was more that I could provide for you on that, but for us to get into all that might compromise our legal strategy.”

The Metro Line LRT is still running slower than it should and operating with restrictions.

Iveson said the city is looking at alternatives to Thales.

READ MORE: City emails reveal frustration, concern after Edmonton LRT trains end up on wrong track

“There’ll be some more information in the next few months. We don’t have an exact date where we’ll be talking about what the alternatives will entail,” he said.

“It’s still entirely possible that Thales may be able to deliver a working product.”

Regardless, of whether Thales resolves the issue or an alternate solution can be found, Iveson said the city will have a resolution by the end of the year.

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