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City of Ottawa holding more than $40-million from RTG due to unreliable trains

Rideau Transit Group says it will have the recent wheel cracking issue under control by September 8, and the city will then have 15 double-car trains at its disposal consistently.
2019-07-26 lrt ottawa o-train light rail MV2
Ottawa light rail train on the Confederation Line, July 2019. Mike Vlasveld/

The City of Ottawa is making another maintenance payment to Rideau Transit Group (RTG), but the amount still less than a third of what was asked for.

Taking into account key performance measures in the contract for the Confederation Line, such as having 15 double-car trains running during peak hours, the city says its releasing funds for the summer months and last fall.

The months of February to April are still under review.

Counting all other months between October 2019 and January 2020, the city is set to pay RTG $5.5-million. It's holding $12.2-million back due to the unreliability of the service over that period.

From May to July, as the pandemic resulted in significantly reduced ridership levels, the city held back less than $700,000, and made a payment of almost $12-million.

There's also a $16-million payment that's due to pass when RTG provides 15 double-car trains consistently, without wheel cracking issues, which RTG anticipates will happen as of September 8.

All together, RTG is owed $43.27-million in month payments before deductions and the vehicle holdback of $16-million. Of that, the company is only getting $17.45-million. 

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