Ottawa councillors call for emergency transit commission meeting amid LRT issues



Ottawa city councillors are calling for an emergency meeting of the transit commission following a turbulent week for the Confederation Line LRT.

Councillors Catherine McKenney and Diane Deans wrote a letter to Allan Hubley, chair of the transit commission, calling for the body to return early from its summer recess to address recent problems with the LRT.

The rail system was down for five straight days last week after an axle on one of the trains derailed and the rest of the fleet was taken out of service for inspections.

Service started again Saturday morning as inspections continued on the trains. As of Monday morning, enough vehicles were back in service for trains to arrive every five minutes at LRT stations across the line, though replacement bus service remained on stand-by.

A loosened bolt in the axle-bearing unit was identified as the source of the derailment in an update Friday from Ottawa transit boss John Manconi.

He said in a memo that a full debrief on the issues would likely be ready by the next transit commission meeting, currently set for Sept. 20.

That’s not soon enough for Deans and McKenney, who said the axle incident has further eroded public trust in an LRT system that has had a host of regular service issues since it launched in September 2019. Citizen transit commissioner Sarah Wright-Gilbert also expressed her support for the councillors’ proposal.

“In the interest of accountability and transparency to residents, we request an emergency Transit Commission meeting in the next 10 days to discuss these events,” their letter reads.

In addition to the ongoing LRT issues, they also highlighted concerns that council was not promptly informed about an issue affecting a number of double-decker buses found to have steering problems after a bus was forced off the road on Carling Avenue last week.

Global News has reached out to Hubley for his comment on whether the next transit commission meeting will be moved forward at the councillors’ request.

Phone: 613-580-2484
Address: 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1