The City of Ottawa and Rideau Transit Group (RTG) have announced an agreement to resolve a number of ongoing of issues, including maintenance disputes.
In a joint statement, the City and RTG said the settlement resets their relationship in order to shift focus to the delivery of safe and reliable transit service on O-Train Line 1.
Based on recommendations from the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (OLRT) Public Inquiry Commission Report, the agreement means the City and RTG have committed to move forward with the goal of improved collaboration and partnership.
The agreement is as follows:
- Resolves the Notice of Default that arose following the August 8 and September 19, 2021 derailments through RTG's acknowledgement of the Default and the City's confirmation of the immediate cure based on RTG's rigorous plan to address the issues that led to the derailments and come to a sustainable resolution of the axle bearing assembly issue. The City acknowledges the work RTG has done and will continue to do to ensure the people of Ottawa receive safe and reliable service on O-Train Line 1 and will continue to monitor RTG's progress.
- RTG is committed to achieving a sustainable resolution of these issues for all O-Train Line 1 light rail vehicles before the opening of the Stage 2 East extension. In addition, RTG has and will continue to implement various interim mitigation measures to ensure the reliability of O-Train Line 1.
- The City and RTG have also settled several disputes concerning RTG's performance during the maintenance phase and the City's administration of the contract during the maintenance phase.
The City of Ottawa launched a $131-million lawsuit against RTG, as it claims the light rail builder breached its contract relating to construction during Stage 1 of the city's LRT system.
RTG filed a countersuit against the City last April for for $225 million.
The news comes months after Justice William Hourigan released the highly anticipated 600 plus page final report of the Ottawa LRT public inquiry on Nov. 30, 2022 which showed a magnitude of reasons why the people of Ottawa did not receive the reliable transit system they had hoped for.
The report described gave insight into the relationship between all parties leading up to, and after the launch, of the $2 billion light-rail transit project.
Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
Laura Shantz with the Ottawa Transit Riders Group, told The Sam Laprade Show on Jan. 27 that she doesn't think it's a coincidence that the news was released on a Friday, when fewer people are tuned into the news.
"If they want to work together, that's great, make it happen," she said. "But, at the same time, where is this climate of transparency that we were promised. It doesn't feel like we are turning over a new leaf in that regard."
Listen to the full conversation with Laura Shantz below: