Analysis: Why Ottawa's LRT is a lesson in how not to manage a major environmental project

By Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen, January 27, 2020

LRT planners once promised the new train system would help our climate as much as planting 9.4 million trees, by replacing diesel buses and private cars with “zero-emission” public transit.

The reality is different, and experts call it a painful lesson in how not to manage a major environmental project.

The plan was to cut 180 Transpo buses, but scores of those have been brought back to regular routes or to ease congestion when the LRT system falters. And the promised surge of former car drivers has not happened.

(...)At Ecology Ottawa, Erik Pervin calls LRT “the largest climate program the city has ever undertaken in terms of the ambition and what it could do.

“But it’s not working well.

“What ends up happening is that people drive the same amount if not more because the buses are no longer able to take them where they want to go. And perhaps more menacingly over time, it erodes the people’s trust in the transit system and it will make them less likely to ride (on transit) in the future.

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