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Revenue Service Availability date for Confederation Line

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As many already know, the Revenue Service Availability date is now less than 2 months away, November 2nd, 2018.

There will be an upcoming FEDCO (Finance and Economic Development Committee meeting next Monday at 9:30am. There is typically an LRT update delivered during the committee meeting. As of that date, there will be a little over 50 days left before the Revenue Service Availability date. It will be interesting to see what news emerges or if any confirmations or more solid positions are given for meeting the date.

Earlier this year, it was back in February that they announced they were not going to meet the May deadline, which was 3 months notice. At this point it will be less than 2 months notice, so definitely expecting some sort of indication as to how things are heading at this point. 

Link to meeting agenda https://ottawa.primegov.com/portal/#/file?meeting=7485&type=agenda -- compile&name=FEDC-9%2F10%2F2018.pdf&ext=pdf

Important to note that the RSA date is for when the constructor hands over the system to the city and OC Transpo. The actual opening to passengers would happen at a later date. The city is hoping by end of November it is moving passengers.

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I'll be following this in the news and by the city hall reporters on twitter. Hoping for some good news. Fingers crossed.

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I've heard through the grapevine that they won't meet the November date. Anecdotally the stations seem to be coming along well but a couple of people I know say it looks like December or January would be the opening date. I'm interested to hear what official news comes out of the meeting though. I'd love for my sources to be wrong! 

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I believe that they are aiming for December 1 for the opening date, as you can see that the new schedule say they are valid until then. Also, notice the new R2 branding. Photo at Mooney’s Bay bus stop C

-Charlie

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Rideau Transit Group is asking for some requirements for RSA to be waived to meet the Nov 2 or it will not meet the date.

  • Modification of Fleet Size.
  • Partial opening of Rideau Station
  • Reduce 12 days of consecutive testing.
  • Possible partial line opening

John Manconi (OC Transpo GM) says these do not meet their needs to maintain the transit service levels. Therefore RSA will not be achieved by Nov 2.

However the city independent analysis says it will not enter service until 2019, however they got a call on Friday from RTG saying that RSA might be met by Nov 30th.

RTG hasn't filed that they will miss Nov 2 yet however if they do, damages will start to be charged starting with the $1 million. These will be deducted from the milestone payments. Also levies against the detours still in place.

Manconi says that RTG has kept stead fast saying they would meet Nov 2nd, however the city did their due diligence and called them out saying they did not see evidence they would meet it.

There will be no further changes to bus routes until the LRT opens.

Councillor Blais made a request to delay the implementation of the new fare table (Jan 1st) due to the delay.

Manconi says things could change today or tomorrow, 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.

OC Transpo bus operators who had received layoff notices will be retained until opening. They will be in contact with the unions.

 

Related articles in the media:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/lrt-delivery-late-november-2-1.4817010

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/im-pretty-angry-right-now-lrt-likely-wont-be-ready-in-2018

Also on the O-Train Fans blog:

https://www.otrainfans.ca/blogs/delays-to-confederation-line-mean-missing-november-2018-opening   (mostly mirroring what was outlined above).

And here is the presentation deck that was shown at the meeting (complete with pictures and diagrams).

FEDCO LRT Update - 2018-09-10.pdf

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Not the news I or anyone else want to hear, but if it isn't ready it isn't ready, and there's nothing that we can do about that now other than to hope that things get on track (no pun intended) quickly to get service started as soon as possible.

Mr. Manconi does say in a lot of interviews that they will be reviewing the new November 30th RSA date to see if it could work, and that their assessment and projection will be shared in the coming days. Eager to see where we stand, if this changes anything.

Still hopeful that we can be riding before 2018 ends. Long shot or not, it's important to stay positive and optimistic, and that's what I will be doing. :)

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I would definently take it as a good sign that the City did not say an exact date for the next expected RSA, it really means that it could happen anytime after November 1st. Who knows, they (and/or us) might only get a weeks notice for when the LRT will open, we will just have to see what happens in the coming weeks once Mr Manconi and the city get more info.

-Charlie

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14 hours ago, Charlie said:

I would definently take it as a good sign that the City did not say an exact date for the next expected RSA, it really means that it could happen anytime after November 1st. Who knows, they (and/or us) might only get a weeks notice for when the LRT will open, we will just have to see what happens in the coming weeks once Mr Manconi and the city get more info.

-Charlie

Given that the city needs to do some tests after receiving the keys (so to speak) and opening it for revenue service, it won't happen with a weeks notice (I am not even sure how they planned to get it running by the end of November with a November 2 handover unless they were expecting it to actually be completed much before that).  The lack of an exact date is more an indication that they are being cautious and don't want to make yet another promise that they can't keep (twice bitten, three times shy).

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Hi PHrenetic, thank you for joining us and sharing the document.

Lots of information lately, really hoping for some good news in the coming days what the new timeline will be. These FEDCO updates have alot of good info contained within.

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A new article on CBC News about RTG not wanting to share their plan on how they will finish the Confederation Line.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/rtg-lrt-plan-watson-councillors-public-accountability-1.4820968

The bottom line as indicated in the article is this...

Quote

 

RTG holding back letter

RTG — led by international corporations SNC Lavalin and Dragados — told city rail officials last week that it could only meet the Nov. 2 deadline if it didn't meet certain contract requirements, and Manconi told councillors he rejected that proposal. 

Then last Friday, RTG sent a letter to the city outlining a new plan to complete LRT by Nov. 30. On Monday, reporters asked to see that letter, and Manconi and city solicitor Rick O'Connor agreed.

However, under the contract, the city needed RTG's permission to release the letter.

RTG has refused.

"We asked RTG if we could disclose the letter and they advised that this is confidential information and cannot be released under the terms of the project agreement," O'Connor wrote in an email.

 

Not sure how this is confidential information, the public is paying for this system and the builder's services. A little presumptuous that they feel the public should be kept in the dark. Good to remember that RTG will not be building the Stage 2 of the Confederation Line. They aren't eligible to bid as per the existing agreement, so hopefully the next group is brought on with better accountability and reporting to the public and the city.

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With the election now over and Mayor Watson re-elected, the next phases of LRT can continue forward. With council resuming in the near future, the next FEDCO meeting is scheduled for Nov 6th. It has been stated that the mayor will be briefed on the latest developments before this and the rest of council and the public should know more from that meeting.

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Just checked and the meeting was rescheduled to November 14th at 9:30. Was originally going to be Nov 6. 

Tomorrow (November 2nd) was the revenue service availability date before it was announced it wouldn’t be met back in September. Had all gone well , we would have been potentially just weeks away from boarding the train. 

———

On a side note, i will be resuming the Snapshot updates as of this weekend as there has been quite a lot of progress over the past many weeks. Stay tuned. 

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