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First LRT weekday morning commute went ‘very well,’ says OC Transpo boss

The platform at Rideau Station, one of three underground stations in the Confederation Line's 2.5-kilometre tunnel. The LRT system opened to riders on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Beatrice Britneff / Global News

The first weekday morning commute of the Confederation Line of the LRT system went off without a hitch, for the most part, as people got their first taste of their new commutes on Monday.

OC Transpo general manager John Manconi, transit commission chair Allan Hubley and co-chair Jean Cloutier gave an update on LRT service Monday afternoon.

According to Manconi, the only issues so far with the service involve stopped escalators at Rideau Station and a trespasser at Tunney’s Pasture early Monday.

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Exciting and ‘emotional’: Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson describes how LRT launch day feels – Sep 14, 2019

“This morning’s launch was on time and the morning commute ran very well without incident or delays,” said Manconi. “We had one incident of a trespasser at Tunney’s Pasture station in the early morning hours before service commenced that we are currently investigating.”

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As for the escalators, Manconi says updates on the operation of the facilities are sent back to the operations centre and a maintenance person was sent to fix the issue, which involved a “simple reset.”

“With new escalators, there is a breaking-in period and fine-tuning during which minor adjustments are required,” said Manconi. “A combination of customer load calibration and fine-tuning has resulted in the escalator interruptions.

“The adjustments are straightforward and involves a simple reset by a certified technician.”

READ MORE: Ottawa’s Confederation LRT Line opens to passengers

As Monday is still the first workday of operation for the Confederation Line, Manconi was unable to provide preliminary ridership numbers, though anecdotally, Hubley said he had noticed a large number of people electing to take the train in the morning as opposed to staying on the buses.

Buses will continue to run side by side with the LRT until Oct. 6 to help alleviate any growing pains the new system may have.

READ MORE: Confederation Line testimonies — Day 1 LRT riders’ hopes and reviews

Riders across the city took to social media to post about their rides into work Monday morning.

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