City puts Light Rail on the fast track
Ottawa - The City of Ottawa released a report today to accelerate the implementation of light rail transit in Ottawa as directed by the City’s Finance and Economic Development Committee. If approved, the revised schedule will see the light rail system fully operational in the spring of 2018, a full year earlier than planned under the previous Council.
Advancing the procurement process and completing the selection of a winning firm will enable the construction of the system to begin approximately six months earlier than had been planned. The preliminary engineering effort allowed for a more detailed look at the construction schedule, saving an additional six months. It is expected that the private sector will provide additional opportunities to speed implementation through a competitive process.
This schedule will make it possible for some project elements to be available for celebrations around Canada’s sesquicentennial in July 2017. The accelerated timeline comes in response to Committee direction in March to identify ways to realize the benefits of the project sooner.
“This project is the backbone of Ottawa’s future transit system, and I’ve heard time and again from residents that they want to see this light rail project built” said Mayor Watson. “I feel very confident that this plan responds to the desire to speed up project delivery and keeps a strong focus on fiscal prudence and effective risk management.”
The report also sets out a proven, private-sector procurement model that includes taking responsibility for delivering an integrated system. This will include the final design, construction and ongoing maintenance. The procurement model provides for early access to the experience and innovation of the world-leading firms expected to bid on the project. Operation of the system would remain with OC Transpo to ensure the new Light Rail Transit line is fully integrated with the city-wide bus network.
A full copy of this report is available on the project’s website, www.ottawalightrail.ca.
For a comment from the Mayor: