The city of Ottawa, Canada, staff said they believe the Confederation Line will not be ready for revenue service until early 2019. The news came during a Sept. 10 meeting of the city’s Finance and Economic Development Committee.
Rideau Transit Group (RTG), a consortium with a strong transit construction background, asked city staff to “carve out” sections of the Revenue Service Availability agreement for consideration to meet a Nov. 30 turnover date.
RTG requested considerations that included a modified fleet size, a reduction in the number of consecutive test days and a partial opening of the underground Rideau Station. Staff also said RTG requested consideration of partial line openings and soft openings.
City staff reported that the east end of the line needs only final finishes at stations and that there has been “good progress” made at above ground stations along the west end of the line. However, Rideau Station, located close to half way along the line within an underground tunnel, still requires significant construction and mechanical work.
According to an update on the city’s website, “staff advised that their most recent assessment of when residents will be able to travel on Confederation Line has shifted beyond November of this year, and likely into 2019. This will allow completion of the project and for full system operational testing to be done. This extension will not impact the safety and reliability of the LRT system once it is operational.”
Staff said it would continue to work with RTG to ensure the system reaches full build out and proper testing is performed.
The Confederation Line is a 7.7-mile, 13-station light-rail transit line. RTG finalized its agreement with the city to design, build, finance and maintain the Confederation Line in February 2013. A ceremony to mark the end of rail installation was held in May. The consortium is also involved with the extension of the Confederation Line, Stage 2.