If the Rideau Transit Group meets their next deadline, transit riders can expect to be taking the train by the end of April.
In a memo to the mayor and members of council from the director of the rail construction program, Michael Morgan says that Rideau Transit Group (RTG) is on schedule to hand operation of the LRT system over to the City of Ottawa by the deadline of March 31 with operation set to begin before the end of April.
According to the memo, the RSA (Revenue Service Availability) date of March 31 is not the date the system will be running. Following the handover, staff will need to undertake operational activities to make sure the new Confederation Line seamlessly integrates into the OC Transpo network. Activities include additional system practice, simulated operations and staff training.
According to the city, RTG has to meet a number of requirements before handing over control, including completion of all required works such as:
- All civil work
- All mechanical and electrical systems
- Delivery of all light rail vehicles
- All customer-facing elements, signage, next train announcements, public announcement system, wayfinding, etc.
- Commissioning and overall system performance verification and integration testing
- Safety certification of the integrated system
- Independent Safety Auditor compliance
- Successful trial running, which demonstrates performance compliance
In November, Mayor Jim Watson was confident the system would be fully operational by March 31. This new deadline instead pushes that back, at most, a month.
If RTG misses this deadline, the city will withhold $1 million on top of the $1 million it has already kept for missing the deadline of Nov. 2.
In a memo sent out at the beginning of December, city staff say the delays have already cost the city $25 million.