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Ottawa's Confederation Line won't open until 2019

The line was slated to open in November.
Photo – City of Ottawa


The Confederation Line light-rail route in Ottawa, Ontario, won't open to passengers in November as originally planned, city officials announced this week.

The 7.8-mile line's opening date likely will be pushed into 2019, according to a Sept. 10 city council update.

Last week, the project's contractor Rideau Transit Group Partnership (RTG) "essentially requested" that the city drop certain requirements for achieving revenue service availability (RSA) because it wouldn't be able to meet them by November, city staff said.

RTG has suggested modifying the required fleet size, partially opening stations and reducing other requirements for the project agreement's trial running clause. The contractor also suggested a partial line opening and "soft start" of service.

However, Ottawa "is not required to waive any of the requirements of the RSA and has repeatedly advised RTG that it must meet all of the contractual requirements," city officials said.

"The city has been clear with RTG that a modified fleet size will put the city at risk in its ability to operate the system as planned and promised to our customers," they added. "Partial opening of any station will impact transfer points, multimodal linkages, introduces confusion for our customers, impacts mobility, access, egress, etc. and will also deter from that important first impression."

The city may apply a CA$1 million liquidated damages fee against the next payment to RTG, according to the Sept. 10 project update.

The contractor was supposed to deliver the system to the city in May. But in February, the city announced the date was being pushed back six months to November, CBC News reported.

The CA$2.13 billion Confederation Line is being jointly funded by the governments of Canada, Ontario and Ottawa.

In May, elected officials gathered to install the final piece of light-rail track for the project.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/12/2018