‘A real disaster’: Premier weighs in on latest LRT problems

By Jason White

Ontario’s premier is weighing on the latest problems with the O-Train, and pins the blame on the City of Ottawa and its previous mayor for building the system.

Ottawa’s entire east-west O-Train line remained shut down again for a second full day, with no end in sight, after a loose axle bearing prompted the system’s sudden shutdown and closure during Monday’s afternoon commute.

“I think the previous administration, and the previous mayor are accountable; it was a real disaster,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford, when asked by a reporter during an unrelated funding announcement at CHEO. “We’re supporting them on funding, they’re the ones building it and operating it.”

The premier praised Mayor Mark Sutcliffe said the province is there to help him implement the recommendations from the public inquiry and ensure the second phase of light rail runs properly.

“We’re there to help him any way we can, but they’re the ones who built the system,” said Ford. “That was not a good system that they built.”

OC Transpo said every axle on every train was being inspected to see if any others have the loose axle bearing issue that prompted Monday’s suspension of service. As of early Wednesday afternoon, there was still no word when O-Train service could resume.

R1 replacement buses are running in the train’s place, from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair stations, with the goal of a bus every five minutes during peak commute times.

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