“Get ready for rail.”
At first the slogan for Ottawa’s new transit project felt like a command. Then it was a question mark, and now it’s a desperate plea—as if the city could will into existence a light-rail plan that has been talked about for the better part of 20 years.
Ground broke in 2013 on Ottawa’s extension of its O-Train system—then, a five-station, diesel-powered light-rail line. The mission was to electrify the network and extend it to central, eastern, and southern parts of the city with two new add-ons, the brand-new Confederation Line and the Trillium Line addition.
But it hasn’t gone so smoothly. After years of planning and waiting, some in Ottawa might feel like their rapid transit dreams are simply cursed. In 2014, two years after the CDN$2.1-billion project was officially approved by council, a sinkhole measuring 26 feet wide by 39 feet deep opened up near a tunneling site. Two years later on one of the city’s busiest streets, a second LRT tunnel-related sinkhole—this one 92 by 131 feet in area and 16 feet deep—swallowed a van.
And that’s just the sinkholes. The 7.7-mile Stage 1, known as the Confederation Line, has been consistently bedeviled by problems. Originally due in May 2018, It’s still not open yet. Instead, empty trains glide up and down the route for testing, taunting Ottawans who are most definitely #Ready4Rail. The new delivery date is “sometime before Canada Day,” on July 1.
Click here to read the full article: https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/04/ottawa-light-rail-confederation-line-opening-date-lrt-trains/587566/