Consortium confirms Q1 LRT handover date; opening day for passengers unknown

blair station
Progress on Blair Station in October, 2018.

Construction on phase one of the Confederation Line will indeed wrap up this quarter, but the date passengers can start riding Ottawa’s new light-rail transit line remains unknown.

Rideau Transit Group, the consortium constructing the $2.1-billion project, confirmed in a memo released Thursday evening that it would hand the keys to the LRT line to the city before March 31. A specific day for revenue service availability – a date already pushed back multiple times – was not provided.

RSA refers to the “completion of all required works,” the memo states, including delivery of all trains, full development of the line and transit stations as well as safety certifications.

The RSA date is not the day riders will be able to make use of the LRT line – that’s expected to come roughly one month later, after the city has gone through its own tests and staff training on the line.

The LRT line was originally slated for handover on May 24 of last year, but delays primarily blamed on the Rideau sinkhole caused RTG to miss its target. The construction consortium then announced in September that it would also miss the new date, set at the time for this past Nov. 2. Ottawa transit boss John Manconi told city council after the second delay that he expected the LRT to be running in the first quarter of 2019.