Ottawa transit boss pleased with first few days of LRT operations

LRT
A Confederation Line LRT train arrives at Bayview Station on Monday. Photo by Craig Lord

Save for a few minor hiccups, the Confederation Line LRT ran “very, very well” over its first few days in service, according to the head of Ottawa’s transit agency.

OC Transpo boss John Manconi and transit commission chair Allan Hubley held a press briefing at Blair LRT Station Monday to share initial impressions of how the long-awaited light-rail transit system was holding up to weekend traffic and the first morning commute.

Monday’s morning traffic might not represent a full test of the train, as bus service continues to run in parallel to the LRT line for the next few weeks, giving downtown commuters the choice to stay on their buses instead of transferring to the train if they so choose. Hubley said that while some transit riders opted to stay on their buses on day one, he noted the “majority” chose to try out the train.

Early feedback from those making the switch has been overwhelmingly positive, Manconi said. While OC Transpo doesn’t yet have access to ridership estimates from the first few days of service, Manconi said the system was functioning as intended, even with a few minor issues such as an escalator going out of service over the weekend at Rideau Station. The escalator in question is now up and running and the station has a technician on-site to monitor for further technical issues.

Manconi also said there was an incident at Tunney’s Pasture Station, where an individual “scaled” the walls of the station before service started Monday morning. While he declined to provide substantial information about the trespasser, whom he said was exhibiting “erratic” behaviour, he noted there were no major injuries reported.