Questions and answers: Ottawa's LRT troubles explained

By Kate Porter, CBC News Ottawa, November 8, 2019

In the month since the big OC Transpo overhaul, when buses were re-routed to feed the light rail network, problems have piled up — and so have questions.

Councillors and transit commissioners peppered top city staff with concerns and queries at a much anticipated public update Wednesday that lasted for hours.

They learned the Confederation Line has been 97.6 per cent reliable, but the times it hasn't run on schedule at rush hour has affected thousands of people. And as transportation general manager John Manconi said more than once, the buses and trains are so interconnected that "bad rail service equals bad bus service."

Here are a few of the big questions — and how staff answered them.

What's causing the LRT problems?

There are four main culprits:
  • The computer "brain" on each train that monitors everything from sensors to doors to braking.
  • Two controllers per train that speak to that computer and tell it the train is safe to move.
  • The train doors, which have broken when riders try to hold them open.
  • The switches on the track.

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