LRT marks 1st birthday with few riders — and fewer issues

By Kate Porter, CBC News Ottawa, September 14, 2020

Reliable and fast. Few delays. Not crowded.

That's how some riders described Ottawa's light rail system last week, and they're not words that would have been used during the darkest times of the Confederation Line's first year. 

And with a litany of issues from flat wheels to snagged overhead wires, there were many such times. But as the white-and-red electric trains carry passengers into a second year, the picture is now dramatically different.


he consortium was not available to comment for this story. But Manconi says RTG has taken advantage of a precipitous drop in ridership to 15 to 20 per cent of normal levels, using periodic shutdowns of the Confederation Line during the pandemic to clear most of the problems, from installing door software to dealing with the overhead wires.

We never want to repeat a year like last year.

- John Manconi, City of Ottawa's general manager of transportation

One sign of progress is that since August, RTG has finally been running 15 trains, rather than only 13. With service improved, the consortium is also finally getting monthly payments — the city handed it $17.45 million in August.

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