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New deadline given for City of Ottawa light rail handover date

The city had requested that the Rideau Transit Group provide a handover date by January 2, but that has now been pushed back 24 hours.
An O-Train emerges from the downtown LRT tunnel during testing in April, 2018. (Courtesy: City of Ottawa)

Another light rail deadline came and went on Wednesday. 

In September, the city learned that the Rideau Transit Group (RTG) would not meet the November 2 deadline to handover the keys to the $2.1 billion light rail project. At the time, there was no new date on the horizon. 

Then, in mid-November, General Manager of Transportation Services at the City of Ottawa John Manconi announced a January 2, 2019 deadline for the Rideau Transit Group to determine a handover date for the Confederation Line. 

Around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, the City of Ottawa sent an e-mail to, saying that deadline would now be January 3.


"At RTG's request, the City has provided a one-day extension to January 3, 2019 to receive a new RSA date. City staff will review the new date and respond to RTG. Staff will provide an update to Council following the review of the new RSA date."  - Michael Morgan, Director, Rail Construction Program. 


Manconi said back in the fall that as of January, things would be done right and he would ensure that whatever the new deadline would be, it could be met. 

"We don't want to put another date out there that we don't have a high degree of confidence that it can be achieved," he explained. "We've been very clear with the CEO's of RTG Consortium, when you bring us a date, bring us the confidence level you can deliver on." 

When the Rideau Transit Group missed its November deadline, the company was hit with a $1-million penalty.

It was the second time a deadline was missed -- the first happened back in May 2018. 

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has said that he expects the Confederation Line to be handed over by March 31, 2019, but no date has been made official.

The city has said it wants to see the project move forward safely, without a rush to meet deadlines. 


Jenn Pritchard

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