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Ottawa LRT meets peak service demand with 11 trains during morning commute

Ottawa's auditor general will look at the operations of the city's light-rail transit system as part of her 2022-2023 work plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

Ottawa’s light-rail transit system ran with 11 trains Monday morning, meeting current peak service demand for the first time since the September derailment.

The city’s Confederation Line LRT has been gradually increasing its capacity levels since it relaunched on Nov. 12 with seven trains on the track.

Monday marked the first weekday commute in November when OC Transpo launched 11 of 15 total trains, achieving the standard five minutes between trains.

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The Confederation Line was fully out of service for 54 days following the Sept. 19 derailment. Transit officials did a full inspection of the trains and maintenance procedures on the LRT system, with the help of independent rail safety experts Transportation Resource Associates.

Ridership had been gradually increasing and hit roughly 45 per cent of pre-pandemic levels before the shutdown in mid-September.

OC Transpo said it would be able to run at peak capacity by December, when transit users will be offered free fares for the whole month as a gesture for the recent downtime.

Read more: Ottawa LRT inquiry to examine safety, tech, value and accountability, says transportation minister

 

Since its relaunch, the system has had a few technical hiccups when trains were briefly removed from service, but nothing requiring a full shutdown of the line.

On Friday OC Transpo said a trespasser on the tracks disrupted service between St-Laurent and Blair stations, but trains were back up and running in the east end within the hour.

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