Special Transit Commission meeting - December 18, 2019

The Transit Comission received a special status update on the O-Train Line 1: Confederation Line, as well as the resulting changes, issues and problem being experienced on the O-Train and the bus network since the #ReallyBigServiceChange of October 6, 2019.

Important Points from the presentation: Rail Service Overview

Rail service is improving with fewer disruptions, providing more reliable service for our customers;

Our focus has been on the following four rail specific areas:

  1. Train Control Monitoring System (TCMS);
  2. Vehicle on Board Controller (VOBC);
  3. Door Operations; and,
  4. Track Switches.

There have been some improvements in all of these areas.

Train Control & Monitoring System (TCMS)
Number of occurrences continues to trend downwards;

A new version of software was deployed and tested on the fleet during the weekend of December 7. The software continues to:

1. Contain the issues generated by the TCMS system (minimizes impact);
2. Collect data for Alstom engineers to diagnose for root cause analysis; and,
3. The new software also optimizes communication between active and inactive TCMS units, simplifies network communications, and improves error handling.

Operational measures continue to be refined and put in place to reduce the number and impact of TCMS occurrences, resulting in better service for our customers; and,

As root cause has yet to be determined, the dedicated team of experts continues to work on resolving this issue.

Vehicle On Board Controller (VOBC)

  • ​The work on VOBC is being done in parallel to that of TCMS;
  • The number of VOBC occurrences has stabilized; and,
  • There has been one recent VOBC issue that occurred midday on December 13, which resulted in a short delay for customers.
Door Operation
  • Door issues impacting service have decreased;
  • In most cases, improved response and rectification time is minimizing the impact to customers;
  • A specialized team continues to work on engineering solutions to improve performance and adjust door settings;
  • Dwell times continue to be monitored and adjusted by staff; 
  • We continue to communicate the importance of not holding doors via our communications and marketing campaign; and,
  • A communication package will be sent to Council and Transit Commission following this meeting.
Track Switches
  • On December 5, a non communicating switch at Blair Station impacted operations and R1 was implemented between St. Laurent and Blair stations;
  • The Control Centre must be able to communicate with all switches to ensure they are properly aligned for safe train movements.
  • Switches that are non communicating or misaligned must be attended to by a specialized technician;
  • RTG/RTM guideway technicians continue monitoring switches at terminus stations during peak periods; and,
  • Additional resources are deployed to monitor and attend to switches during weather events.
Ongoing Improvements
  • Straps have been installed on 1/3 of the fleet;
  • Remaining trains will have strap hangers installed by the end of January; and, RTM is working to advance the shipment date.
  • Tunney's Pasture Station pedestrian canopy is expected to be complete this week; and, Installation of decorative screens expected to be complete by the end of December.
  • Hurdman Station pedestrian bypass lane and canopy are complete; and, Decorative screens expected to be installed by end of December.
  • Removal of shelter glass at Blair Station Stop D to help customer flow.
  • Platform markings at six stations are complete; Remaining installations are being completed weather dependent.
  • Anti slip coating installed on stairs at Parliament, Lyon and Rideau stations; and, RTM doing system wide review and will apply as necessary.

​Source : City of Ottawa

Audio Recording of the meeting. (Confederation Line and Bus Service Update)

Artist Name - Transit-Commission - Presentation - December 18, 2019
Transit Commission - Questions & Answers - December 18, 2019.mp3

Press Release from the Transit Commission.

Transit Commission receives O-Train Line 1 and Bus Service Update

Ottawa – The Transit Commission today received an update on both O-Train Line 1 and bus service.

Overall, OC Transpo has seen a positive downward trend in the issues that impact O-Train Line 1 service, including track switches, the Train Control and Monitoring System (TCMS), the Vehicle on Board Controller (VOBC) and door operations. These operational issues have been the main contributors to customer impacts since Line 1 service launched on September 14. While improved response and rectification times to these issues are minimizing customer impacts, staff continue to work closely with stakeholders on determining the root causes and implementing solutions.

The Transportation Services Department continues to make improvements to stations and trains, including: installing straps in trains, completing the covered walkway at Hurdman Station and completing anti-slip coatings on stairs at Lyon, Parliament and Rideau stations.

The update on bus operations noted that out of approximately 8,600 scheduled trips every weekday, approximately 98.5 per cent are being delivered. Although weekday service reliability has improved since the launch of Line 1, weekend service has not seen the same results. City staff are working diligently to minimize cancellations and mitigate customer impacts.

OC Transpo winter service changes will take effect on January 5, with a few changes beginning earlier on December 22. This quarterly service change includes further service enhancements to improve reliability, increase capacity and reduce wait times. For more information on the winter service changes, visit

OC Transpo has been collecting feedback from customers, staff, Members of Council and Members of Transit Commission and will continue to integrate comments and feedback into ongoing changes and improvements.

​Source : City of Ottawa

The presentations that were shown at the meeting.

-O-Train Confederation Line and Bus Service Update-

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