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Senators sale could close this week and LRT adds two-car trains to service: 5 stories to watch this week

OC Transpo rolls out double-car trains during peak periods, councillors receive an update on the 28-day LRT shutdown this summer and the Ottawa Senators could officially have a new owner this week. looks at five stories to watch in Ottawa this week.

OC Transpo rolls out double-car trains on the O-Train line

OC Transpo will boost the number of trains running along the Confederation Line this week, to meet the increased ridership demand following the summer break.

The O-Train has been running single-car service since the 28-day shutdown in July and August.

Starting Monday, OC Transpo says a “limited number of double-car trains will run along with single-car trains” during the weekday morning and peak periods.  

“OC Transpo anticipates that this service frequency will provide sufficient capacity for customers,” Transit Services general manager Renee Amilcar said. “The operations team will continue to closely monitor and adjust service as needed.”

OC Transpo is also shutting down the western Shuttle Express bus between Tunney’s Pasture Station and downtown Ottawa due to low ridership. The eastern Shuttle Express service between Blair Station and downtown Ottawa will continue to operate.

The Transit Commission is scheduled to receive an update on the 28-day shutdown during Thursday’s meeting. The train was shut down in mid-July after an axle bearing issue was discovered on one train. As part of the return to service plan, all front and rear axles will be replaced every 60,000 km.

Week two of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ trial

Testimony will continue this week at the trial for two of the key organizers of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ demonstration.

Tamara Lich and Chris Barber face charges of mischief, obstructing police, counselling others to commit mischief and intimidation.

The charges stem from the three-week protest in downtown Ottawa in the winter of 2022 against COVID-19 public health measures and the federal Liberal government.

On Friday, the Crown and defence lawyers sparred over the timing of the delivery of binders of text message evidence. Justice Heather Perkins-McVey told the lawyers she was “very unhappy” about the late disclosure, and was working with court staff to find more dates in the event the trial lasts longer than the 16 days set aside.

Police move in to clear downtown Ottawa near Parliament Hill of protesters after weeks of demonstrations, Feb. 19, 2022. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston)

Transit Commission discusses on-demand transit, cheaper transit for hybrid workers

It will be a busy meeting for Ottawa’s Transit Commission on Thursday, meeting for the first time since the summer recess.

Councillors will receive an update on rail and bus operations, including an update on the cause of the 28-day shutdown of the O-Train line.

Councillors will also discuss the launch of an on-demand transit operation, with staff recommending rolling out the service in Blackburn Hamlet this fall.

The Transit Service will also discuss a possible subscription-type transit fare to attract hybrid workers to OC Transpo the two-three days a week they travel to the office.  Staff say a reduced fare designed for hybrid workers is feasible, with a model that allows riders to pay for discounted fares, valid for a certain number of trips over a set number of days.

A train passes under an overpass along the Confedration Line of Ottawa’s LRT. (CTV News Ottawa)

New owner of the Ottawa Senators

The group led by businessman Michael Andlauer could take over as owners of the Ottawa Senators this week.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has said the Senators sale could close as early as this week, with final approval needed by the board of governors. 

Andlauer and his group won the bidding war to purchase the Ottawa Senators and Canadian Tire Centre in June. Since then, lawyers have been finalizing the paperwork for the sale.

Andlauer, the founder of ATS Healthcare, is scheduled to speak at the Mayor’s Breakfast at Ottawa City Hall on Thursday.

Photo: Andlauer Healthcare Group

Highway 417 off-ramp closure

A busy off-ramp from the eastbound lanes of Highway 417 in the centre of Ottawa will be closed for the next three months.

Kiewit Dufferin Midtown Partnership says the Highway 417 eastbound off-ramp at Kent Street will close on Sept. 15 and remain close until Dec. 22.

The closure is for the construction and replacement of retaining walls and noise barriers along Hwy. 417.

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