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Phil

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  1. https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/lrt-delayed-again-wont-be-ready-by-end-of-june Quote from the article: "An admittedly “fed up and frustrated” Watson said he, once again, called Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge on Tuesday morning to say he’s had it with Alstom’s performance and he invited the executive of the French-based company to Ottawa to discuss the problems in person with RTG and city staff within the next 10-14 days. According to Watson, Poupart-Lafarge accepted the invitation. “I told him it’s not going to be a pleasant meeting because we are fed up with the excuses and the system not working to our satisfaction and obviously we’re not going to accept a substandard product on Day 1,” Watson said." RTG is not being "criticized": it is being held accountable. When a company signs a 2,1 billion contract with taxpayers money, it has to accountable and I am glad to see City Council taking it seriously. The long stop date passing means that the relationship between RTG and the City of Ottawa has changed. And meanwhile, the people who use public transit are penalized because the system is still in transition and Manconi himself acknowledged that fact.
  2. Confederation Line LRT project reaches a milestone! (It's officially one year late) Jon Willing Updated: May 24, 2019 The article is here: https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/confederation-line-lrt-project-reaches-a-milestone-its-officially-one-year-late
  3. Long-stop date coming soon: This is from Global News. Posted on 15 May 2019 (Other outlets have also reported the same thing) The entire article can be found here: https://globalnews.ca/news/5279022/independent-certifier-says-lrt-isnt-substantially-complete-city-of-ottawa-memo/ "Project’s ‘long-stop’ date falls next week News of the independent certifier’s decision comes a week and a half before the project’s “long-stop” date, which — according to the project agreement — falls “365 days after the required revenue service availability date” (or the original handover date). The train was first scheduled to be delivered to the City of Ottawa on May 24, 2018, a deadline that was pushed to Nov. 2 and delayed once again to March 31, 2019. The consortium missed the March target date as well. If RTG doesn’t achieve revenue service availability by the “long-stop” date, the consortium will be in default of the project agreement and the city will have the right to terminate it, according to the document. There was no word of an LRT launch date during Friday’s update. Manconi said that RTG continues to tell the city it will deliver the train by the end of June. RTG has several hurdles left to pass before it hands over the LRT, including a trial run, during which the train has to simulate “flawless” service for 12 straight days." I don't think the city will terminate the contract, but
  4. All these nuances are explained in the Wikipedia article I initially mentioned.
  5. Let's not take ourselves too seriously on this one... Looking for articles written about the O-Train for other audiences, I stumbled upon one of those gems, well research and well written, from The Daily Hive, something you read when you live in Vancouver. The article qualify the O-Train as a Metro, something I had not seen before. Here it is : https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/confederation-line-ottawa-timelapse-video It appears that the difference between Light Rail and Metro has very little to do with the size of the cars nor the length of the trains. Wikipedia : "The International Association of Public Transport (L'Union Internationale des Transports Publics, or UITP) defines metro systems as urban passenger transport systems, "operated on their own right of way and segregated from general road and pedestrian traffic". The article is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_metro_systems I am sure there could be other definitions, but the organization that is mentioned in the article seems to have authority on the matter. The list includes as metros the Toronto Subway, the Montréal Métro, and the Vancouver SkyTrain, but doesn't include Calgary's and Edmonton's Light Rail Systems. We will have to see if the O-Train makes the cut once it opens, but by definition, it should.
  6. Very interesting article from Jon Willing of the Ottawa Citizen (Dated May 13th, 2019): Here is what caught my attention: (these are excerpts from the article) "The city didn’t say by the end of the afternoon Monday if an independent certifier agrees with the Rideau Transit Group that the $2.1-billion Confederation Line is “substantially complete.” The city’s transportation general manager, John Manconi, said last Friday that, in the city’s eyes, the LRT system wasn’t finished, even though RTG submitted paperwork suggesting the company reached substantial completion. He said the certifier was to make a decision by 4 p.m. Monday." ... "When the project is deemed substantially complete, it essentially means there’s nothing in the way of the city using the system." ... "Almost a year late, RTG would really want a declaration of a substantially complete project so it can finally get closer to recouping $261 million in construction payments from the city. The payments are linked to milestones: $59 million for substantial completion and $202 million for revenue service availability. "The city and RTG are approaching the “long-stop” date in the contract, which says if the completion date is 365 days after the original revenue service availability date, RTG is in default of the agreement and the city has the right to terminate it." Nothing major will happen if the handover date is beyond the May 24th "long stop date", I doubt the city would terminate the contract. However, passing that date would be an embarrassment for the contractor, to say the least. You can read the full article here: https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/city-reviewing-independent-certifiers-decision-on-lrt-completion
  7. I just realized it says on the web page that Blair's virtual tour was captured in March...
  8. It is an eye sore... Since the station has received its occupancy permit, it must have been looked at and deemed perfectly safe. This virtual tour images seems to date back a month or so given the state of the ground where we can still see some snow. Let's hope they did some cosmetic work since, because it just clashes with the rest. The old Transitway structures that are being kept should be refreshed... it's been there for over thirty years under punishing Canadian weather. The bus platform at Saint-Laurent Station is a good example. Don't throw it away, but repaint it so it can last a few years more. There will come a time when it will be necessary to rebuild: this train will still be there in 100 years.
  9. Thanks for your reply. I never stop learning on this Forum. It's great!
  10. It depends on the drive of our elected officials. I would argue that if they managed to have Stage 2 starting almost at the completion of the first stage (give or take a few weeks), they could do the same for Barheaven, the link to Gatineau and Carling. Planning for Stage 3 should start right now in my view because the city is growing and it will grow faster when the O-Train starts service. It will improve our quality of life and it will attract people, I have no doubts. Yes, you are right they are shorter than the Citadis Spririt. But aren't they taller and wider? Anyhow, in terms of aesthetics, those streetcars look very nice and futuristic. I had seen images, but when I saw them with my own eyes, it is as if they were gliding on the street because the wheels are hidden. It is particularly nice to see them make a turn. I did not have a chance to take one, but I remember when I lived there, the streetcars - the old ones - were more comfortable than the bus. The new ones were launched in 2014: Here's a video showing accessibility ramp and other features:
  11. I agree. No need for more categories. I would suggest one category for the O-Train and all transit projects in the region, including Gatineau. And if we need more than one category, maybe we should keep the one for "Everywhere Else". It already exists and its cool to have a window on what's is being built elsewhere.
  12. In the long term transit plan adopted by the city (https://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/planning-and-development/official-plan-and-master-plans/transportation-master-plan), all options are being used: Light Rail with exclusive ROW, Light Rail sharing the ROW - the new streetcars in Toronto are even more massive than the O-Train! They have four or five sections and are very elegant looking. Here is the map of what it should look like in 2031: tmp_map_3_en.pdf That's the kind we might see on Carling Avenue one day: tmp_map_3_en.pdf
  13. I hope the FEDCO meeting on Friday 10 May, will give us answers. Other projects larger in scope (longer entirely underground lines) have been completed way faster, on time and on budget. And they are safe. Just look at the Métro in Montréal. They started digging in 1962 and the first 20 stations, all underground, were delivered in October of 1966. Do I need to reiterate that we have 13 stations, 3 of which are underground, and St-Laurent did not need to be entirely built like the others Testing would take the entire Spring and Summer?????? What would be the financial implications of that? No revenue until no-body-knows-when. If it goes that far, the City should take legal action. We don't have access to our O-Train, but we are being taken for a ride.
  14. To David: in the discussion about the cellphones you wrote: "On a unrelated note, which probably should be a thread of its own, I find there is something interesting about the initial proposals and how they involved into the service we'll be having. The design itself, especially those from the uOttawa / Campus station being underground, shared a lot more with heavy rail / subway than a more broad definition of LRT. I think uOttawa benefits quite a bit from being a ground-level station (though quirky in some ways). Platform screen doors (PSD) have been over the years probably one of the most debated topic I've seen through transit projects, as they have been proven to indeed reduce the risks of accidents. However, I can only think of 1 or 2 implementations (Sydney Metro and Disneyland Hong Kong train line), but always in regions with more "clement" weather than what we have in Ottawa. I would assume we would either need all stations to be contained, therefore thermally controlled and maintained more intensively, increasing costs on all front." ------- I was a student at was then named The University of Ottawa a long, long time ago. I lived in Centre Town and crossed the Canal to go to the campus. What struck me then was the succession of "rights of ways": Queen Elizabeth Drive, the Rideau Canal, Colonel By Drive, Nicholas Street, Waller Street, the Transitway... I do not think it was a bad idea to imagine an underground station for this particular location because of how busy the street level is already. However, I agree with the decision to build it above ground. First it would have been much more expensive and complex to build, and second, the traffic remains manageable with the way the station has been designed. Don't spend more than you have to on projects like that. One of the most important things when building a rapid transit is to have a set of tracks uninterrupted by traffic lights. You go around, above or under the obstacles. Since the Transitway provided that right of way, it was just a matter of adjusting the elements together. We can still see on YouTube, animation of what it would have looked like with an LRT sharing the road with vehicles, Streetcars basically, and not a real solution to traffic jams already experienced by the buses. That would have been the cheapest solution for light rail, but it wouldn't have been anywhere near the capacity of the O-Train. So I am grateful for the decision to have a tunnel Downtown. Maybe someone knows how old this video animation is...
  15. The article indicates that people who are with services other than Bell and Rogers may not be able to use their cell phones in the tunnel: "Pat Scrimgeour, the head of transit customer services and planning, said in an email that customers who pay for cell service through major cellular providers will be able to use their cell phones in the tunnel. “The city has reached an agreement with Telus,” Scrimgeour said. “We understand that Telus has interoperability agreements with Rogers and Bell. Other cellular providers wishing to serve their customers as they travel in the downtown tunnel can make arrangements with Telus.”" But the article dates back to September 2017. Did a quick search on the Internet to but couldn't find any update. However, since the LRT is a public space, paid for by taxpayers through our three orders of government, I would find it inappropriate if a private company were to decide who can and who can't use the service... without expensive roaming charges. We have to be informed if the use of a cellphone down there will cost a fortune to those who are not with the "Majors". What if your service is with Vidéotron, Shaw or even Petro Canada?
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