Ottawa Councillors say new Confederation Line is falling apart

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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City officials were hoping all of the Confederation Line problems would be fixed by Labor Day.
City of Ottawa

Unhappy with the performance of Ottawa’s Confederation Line, Councillors have submitted a seething letter to Ontario’s Ombudsman demanding for an investigation.

Specifically, the Councillors want a report on the procurement, construction and management of Ottawa’s light rail line, the Confederation Line, and also want details on phase 2 of the project which is currently under construction.

“Within the first two months the system had broken down more than 50 times,” said the Councillors, referring to the Confederation Line, in a letter to the Ombudsman. “Since then there have been many chronic issues, including flat wheels, broken rail, pieces of the electrical power catenary system falling off, door jams, power issues, frozen switches, software problems, and more.”

The Councillors are asking the Ombudsman to investigate the Confederation Line and phase 2 work in an attempt to come up with the proper solutions and to prevent future issues. The Council could endorse the probe at its next meeting later in March.

The Councillors also want legal advice on contracts and warranties, and also want to bring in a transit expert to help design a successful train-bus system.

According to legal opinion, Ottawa’s technical evaluation process for the phase 2 work also was flawed.

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