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City happy with LRT construction, not making 'rider ready' guarantee for fall

The Rideau Transit Group is expected to hand over the finished light rail project in November, but city officials say a date given months ago, isn't iron clad. 
An O-Train emerges from the downtown LRT tunnel during testing in April, 2018. (Courtesy: City of Ottawa)

Four months ahead of the hand-over date for the City of Ottawa's LRT Confederation Line, the head of transportation will not promise that the system will be "rider ready" by its current November 2 deadline.

On 1310 NEWS' The Rick Gibbons Show, Transportation Manager John Manconi touted construction progress, highlighting a number major milestones that the $2.1-billion project has achieved -- including a train running under full automated control -- but he refused to say the November date is "iron-clad"

"I don't give those types of guarantees and really, you don't want a general manager that can give those guarantees, because simply, there are too many variables in a project of this scope and scale," he explained. "The analogy I make is: Builders; when they're building homes, they can't give you fixed guaranteed dates on things like that."

Manconi said the Rideau station is a complex piece of the project which has a lot of integral pieces and each needing to be checked. He added that safe operation of the system is paramount. 

Manconi expects to have a better idea of how ready the train will be toward the end of this summer. 

Listen to the full conversation with Transportation Manager John Manconi:

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