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OC Transpo boss will not commit to Trillium Line opening date

The head of OC Transpo says construction continues to progress on the new Trillium Line, but she will not commit to an opening date for the new north-south light-rail transit system.

Work continues on the new commuter line between Bayview Station and Riverside South, with a spur to the Ottawa International Airport.

Transit Services general manager Renee Amilcar has previously said the Trillium Line will launch this spring, but she told the Transit Commission that several questions remain before the system launches.

“We are making good progress, but I know that the question remains, ‘When will it open?'” Amilcar said Thursday.

“Before we can answer that we need to see train operating hours increase, operator training complete and system training advance. We will be better positioned to predict the pathway to passenger service as we move through these activities.”

O-Train Line 2 was originally scheduled to open in August 2022, but has been delayed several times.  In February, staff suggested trial running could begin in May, with launch at the end of June or early July.

“We continue to see good progress on the testing and commissioning program, as well as training of operators and system controllers,” Amilcar said.

“Monday to Friday, we are regularly running nine trains between Limebank and Bayview stations and to the airport station. It was very important to have nine trains; so check done. We anticipate extending the training and testing to include weekends by the end of this month.”

OC Transpo has updated its timeline for the Trillium Line’s opening. (OC Transpo)

Amilcar says increasing the trial running to weekends means OC Transpo will be “able to identify more vehicle, signal and infrastructure issues and address them.”

“This is a key part of the testing phase. Finding these issues now allows us to fix them and increases our confidence that the system is safe and reliable when it opens.”

OC Transpo and its construction partners continue to make progress on testing, completing construction and securing occupancy permits.

“Our next steps, once testing and training is complete, will be to run the entire system to build up reliability and overall proficiency of both the operations and maintained teams to deliver the service,” Amilcar said.

“Trial running will start once performance is stable.

OC Transpo and its partner TransitNext will target 98.5 per cent reliability during the 14-day trial running period.

A joint meeting of the Transit Commission and the light-rail transit subcommittee will be held on May 31, with staff expected to provide an update on Stage 2 construction.

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