With transit ridership still slowed to a trickle due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the O-Train’s Confederation Line will partially shut down for maintenance for four days next week.
The city said Monday the 12.5-kilometre east-west line will be closed completely on June 21 and will operate only between Blair Station in the east and the University of Ottawa in the west from June 22-24. Replacement buses will serve passengers travelling along the affected stops. Full service will resume on June 25.
The city says the closure will allow the consortium that built the $2.1-billion light rail line, the Rideau Transit Group, to update software and complete infrastructure work and maintenance on the troubled system, which has been plagued by service issues since it opened last October.
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The Confederation Line also closed for seven days in late April and early May so RTG could perform various upgrades and repairs to software, control systems, track infrastructure and the overhead power supply system.
Meanwhile, the O-Train’s Trillium Line is now shut down for two years to allow the north-south track to be extended to Riverside South and the airport.
The city also announced that starting Monday, it is mandatory for all OC Transpo workers and passengers to wear masks.
Ottawa is the first Canadian city to institute such a policy during the COVID-19 crisis. Masks will be given away for free during the first week.
The city, however, said it won’t be punishing passengers who don’t put on facegear. Instead, it says it plans to focus on educating people on the importance of wearing masks to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.