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Ottawa's light rail on track to open to the public in September

A new date has been established for when the City of Ottawa is expected to take over operations of LRT from the Rideau Transit Group.
Mayor Watson disembarks the O-Train, in the downtown tunnel to hammer in the last clip. (Jason White/1310 NEWS)

Train manufacturer Alstom has delivered on its promise to fix problems with its vehicles, and now the City of Ottawa is anticipating getting full control of its new light rail line by August 16.

Alstom had promised Mayor Jim Watson it would fix issues with the trains' brakes, doors and on-board communication system by July 7, and at Wednesday's Finance and Economic Development Committee meeting, Watson confirmed the manufacturer has done its job. The trains are also undergoing a software update which started on July 8 and should be finished by July 12.

The city's General Manager of Transportation Services John Manconi says the Confederation Line builder, Rideau Transit Group, is submitting its substantial completion notice in the next 10 days or so.

He explained that RTG has one final "exam" to pass, and that's the 12 consecutive days of testing the trains. That's suppose to confirm the operating reliability of the system.

Assuming RTG meets all requirements by August 16, a public launch will be set for September, which is the most recent timeline the mayor gave after his meeting with both Alstom and RTG.

Once LRT launches, Manconi said 80 per cent of transit users in the city will experience a change. Every household in Ottawa will also be getting a mail out pamphlet with an explanation of how the LRT line will work and how bus routes will change. 

The city's transit boss added that OC Transpo staff will be on hand at transit stations to assist passengers.

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