• By: OLM Staff

Councillor Shawn Menard releases “four point immediate action plan” to deal with LRT woes

Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard is demanding action  from Mayor Jim Watson  and OC Transpo and released a statement on Friday detailing the continuing LRT problems and what he sees as a lack of  city leadership in dealing with those issues.

Below is Menard’s statement on the matter.

We are six weeks into the full transition to LRT, and we are seeing no improvements to the service we are providing residents. Problems have persisted from the start and although we have seen some improvement, many issues continue through today.

From broken doors and bad smells, to stalled trains and slippery stairs, and finally to cracked tracks forcing trains to creep along at 10 km/h, this roll-out of LRT has confirmed the worst fears of the P3 procurement undertaken.

We can’t go on like this. It’s not fair to our residents and it’s having a detrimental impact on the City of Ottawa as a whole.

Make no mistake, transit is the future for our city, and light rail will play a key role in that future. The transition to LRT should have been the first step in our transition to a Transit City. Unfortunately, residents are losing faith in OC Transpo.

They aren’t being informed regularly. They don’t know when the problems will be fixed and what we are doing to fix them. They don’t know that they can trust transit anymore. Soon, more and more people will turn to other modes of transportation, furthering congestion on our streets.

Residents deserve better. The city needs to be up front with riders and show leadership.

I am calling on Transit Chair Allan Hubley, Mayor Jim Watson and General Manager John Manconi to provide sustained leadership on LRT and Ottawa’s transit system, both on good days and especially on bad days.

My office is calling on them to implement the following four concrete actions:

1.Provide 24/7 coverage by communications personnel dedicated to providing up-to-date, transparent information to the public and to City Councillors.

2.The immediate assistance of external and independent help to solve the ongoing mechanical and operational problems with LRT. 

3.For city leadership to hold twice-weekly press conferences and provide transparent memos to council.

4. An evening public meeting on the issues with bus service that residents are still experiencing after the launch of LRT, with solutions offered by OC Transpo.

The LRT launch and resulting bus service has been a disaster, taking a toll not only on train service, but also our bus system.

Riders have suffered through inadequate service for years, waiting for LRT to finally launch. The city owes it to them to take every step necessary to communicate properly and fix our broken transit system. 

I implore the Chair, the Mayor and the General Manager to take up this call.