RTG misses latest LRT handover date, but service still expected in September

LRT

Rideau Transit Group will not hand over the keys to Ottawa’s light-rail transit system as planned on Friday, but city staff remain confident riders will be on the trains by the end of September.

Mayor Jim Watson’s office confirmed Friday that RTG, the consortium building the first phase of Ottawa’s LRT system, will not meet the anticipated handover date of Aug. 16. RTG had said previously it will achieve revenue service availability by the end of this week.

This marks the fourth time RTG has missed a handover date, stretching back to May of last year. The city can therefore charge RTG another $1-million penalty, as it has done for the past three missed dates.

Both the city and an independent certifier have already given their thumbs up to the system. The final hurdle standing between RTG and handing over the system to the city is a near-perfect 12-day trial run testing for safety and operational readiness, which was slated to begin at the end of July.

In a brief memo released Friday, city transit boss John Manconi said he still expects trains to be running by the end of September. He and Watson intend to update the public on the status of trial running and a new RSA date sometime next week.