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Mayor understands public frustration, but expects LRT handover next week

"At that time we'll have both a technical press conference and briefing for council, members of the media," explained Jim Watson.
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2018-12-12 ottawa mayor jim watson mv2
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson December 2018. Mike Vlasveld/ OttawaMatters

Mayor Jim Watson has admitted that the City of Ottawa, Rideau Transit Group and the independent certifier all agreed that 12 consecutive days of testing on the Confederation Line were incomplete and they could not sign off on the light rail project. 

That decision was made Friday, August 16, but Watson said he is confident that the handover will take place some time next week. 

"At that time we'll have both a technical press conference and briefing for council, members of the media," the mayor explained. "We'll also be able to take a train ride and we'll be able to announce the specific date in September when the public will finally have access to these amazing vehicles and this system that will be a game changer for our city."

Speaking about the project on Friday morning, Watson wouldn't get in to the technical reasons for the system being delayed for a fourth time and said he knows this is not what the public was hoping to hear. 

"The public are both anxious and frustrated that they see the trains being tested but they're not able to get on them," the mayor said. "I think there is still a very high level of excitement that people do want this system and they want the system to work well." 

Watson added, it's his job to ensure that transit on the Confederation Line is as flawless as possible, but noted that there will no doubt be the occassional issue, as there are with all transit systems in big cities. 




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