Thread: Light Rail Boom
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2020, 11:57 AM
exit2lef exit2lef is online now
self-important urbanista
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Phoenix
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[Ottawa] LRT marks 1st birthday with few riders — and fewer issues

Reliable and fast. Few delays. Not crowded.

That's how some riders described Ottawa's light rail system last week, and they're not words that would have been used during the darkest times of the Confederation Line's first year.

And with a litany of issues from flat wheels to snagged overhead wires, there were many such times. But as the white-and-red electric trains carry passengers into a second year, the picture is now dramatically different.

"There's nobody on it. It's pretty quiet. You're not worrying about somebody slamming the door open and stopping the train from moving," said rider Jane Phoenix.

"There's plenty of room, plenty of seats, and I feel safe."

The COVID-19 pandemic has emptied the downtown, and the LRT network too. The day after Labour Day — typically one of the busiest times of year — there were just 50 people on one train at Tunney's Pasture during the morning commute, according to John Manconi, Ottawa's transportation boss.

But the many months of low ridership have also allowed Rideau Transit Group, which built LRT and is now maintaining it, to fix many of the problems on the city's to-do list.
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