02/10/2023

OC Transpo Line 1 Service Update (2023/07/31)

Thank you all for joining us today for this update. I know I speak for everyone here when I say we had hoped today would be the beginning of a gradual return to service for Line 1. I want to thank OC Transpo passengers and Ottawa residents for their patience as we continue to work toward restoring service and implementing a permanent solution to fix our system.

I want to reiterate the principles that are driving everything we are doing right now.

First, we will always put safety first. We will not rush to restore service until we are assured that it will be safe for our passengers. I understand the frustration arising from another delay, but safety will always come first. That's why the trains are not running today.

Second, we will be transparent about what's happening. The instinct in government is often to withhold information until you are absolutely certain of an outcome. But last week we saw an example of a new level of transparency. OC Transpo leadership shared the objective of having some trains running again by today, in line with the goal of sharing as much information as possible. And then circumstances changed and it wasn't possible. That's not the outcome anyone wanted, but I want to underscore the transparency of that process. We will continue to share the best available information with you, even if it might change as this delicate and intricate work continues. I think that's what residents want and what residents deserve. We will continue to have regular briefings to make sure the public is informed every step of the way.

Third, we are following the recommendations of the inquiry, including a much different and more collaborative approach with our partners and with council. I want to take a moment to thank Glen Gower and Steve Desroches, the chairs of the transit and light rail committees, for their cooperation and leadership during this process. The team at OC Transpo has been working collaboratively with our contractors to ensure that we are not only restoring service but fixing the long-term problems that have plagued the system. We now know that the issues that arose during testing two weeks ago are the same problems that led to the incidents in August 2021 and July 2022. So, the redesign of the axles, which is already underway, is a major part of the permanent solution that we require.

I will be meeting with the president of Alstom in the days ahead to continue to ensure that we are on a path to a permanent solution and that we will have the system that Ottawa residents paid for.

Again, I want to thank residents for their patience and assure you once again that we will not rest until we have the permanent solutions and the system that Ottawa deserves.