Today at the Ottawa Finance and Economic Development Committee meeting (FEDCO), John Manconi (General Manager of OC Transpo) delivered an update to the Confederation Line construction.
The RSA (Revenue Service Availability date, the date that the Rideau Transit Group construction consortium building the Confederation Line was to hand over the completed system to the city) was originally end of May 2018. In February it was determined that date would be missed and a new date was set for November 2, 2018. Today it is clear that this date will also not be met. A new date has not been stated. Below are some points from the committee meeting update that took place.
Rideau Transit Group asked for some requirements in the RSA terms to be waived to meet the November 2, without which it would not meet the date.
- Modification of Fleet Size.
- Partial opening of Rideau Station.
- Reduce 12 days of consecutive testing.
- Possible partial line opening or operation.
John Manconi says adjusting any of these requirements would compromise their ability to maintain transit service levels. Therefore RSA will not be achieved by November 2nd.
The city's own analysis of the state of construction has determined that it will not enter service until 2019. John Manconi did receive a call on Friday from RTG saying that RSA might be met by November 30th. What this means is unclear, so most of the points below are based on missing November 2nd, and not the new potential November 30 date as there are several unknowns on what the new date entails. Also important to note that RTG has not yet filed a notice to state that they would miss November 2nd. If the date is passed, liquidating damages will begin being charged starting with $1 million. These will be deducted from the milestone payments of which two remain. Also levies against the detours for buses and vehicles still in place will be charged.
Manconi says that RTG has kept stead fast saying they would meet November 2nd, however the city did their due diligence and called them out saying they did not see evidence they would meet the November 2nd date.
Overall, there will be no further changes to bus routes until the LRT opens. The next set of changes are to coincide with and are dependent on the opening of the Confederation Line. Councillor Blais made a request to delay the implementation of the new fare table (Jan 1st) due to the delay, which will be reviewed.
Manconi says things could still change, as they are missing some critical computer parts for two trains, among other things. He can't give a guess on a date but is hoping to launch service in Q1 of 2019. He also states that nothing here will affect Stage 2 LRT construction.
OC Transpo bus operators who had received layoff notices will be retained until opening and arrangements will be made with the unions.
The City of Ottawa issued a press release with the following details:
Finance and Economic Development Committee members were briefed today on the progress of construction of the Confederation Line.
City staff provided a project update, with respect to completion of stations, communications systems and train vehicles. City staff indicated they believe that RTG will not make the Revenue Service Availability date of November 2, 2018. Further, staff advised that their most recent assessment of when residents will be able to travel on Confederation Line has shifted beyond November of this year, and likely into 2019. This will allow completion of the project and for full system operational testing to be done. This extension will not impact the safety and reliability of the LRT system once it is operational.
Below is the presentation deck that was shown at the meeting.
The presentation contains quite a bit of information, as well as photos and some diagrams illustrating how the train control and communication systems work.