– Ottawa city Staff Recommends LRT – not heavy rail

ED. Another example of how cities are rejecting heavy rail SkyTrain technology.


Josh Pringle

City Staff are reportedly choosing Light Rail Transit technology for Ottawa’s Rapid Transit Network.

The Transit Committee will receive the “Rail System Selection Report” this morning, which will outline the preferred technology for the multi-billion dollar transit system.

The Ottawa Sun and Ottawa Citizen both report the report will recommend the city proceed with building Light Rail Transit technology for the plan.

Staff say LRT is the best option when looking at the future design of neighbourhoods and the transit system.

The Light Rail Transit system would include overhead wires to power the electric trains along the route.

City Staff had also been looking at Heavy Rail Transit. The Sun reports the electric HRT system is preferred by the Transit Services Branch because it’s cheaper to operate and would get more people around the city faster.

Councillor Rainer Bloess tells CFRA News more Councillors feel LRT is better suited for an urban and suburban transit setting.

Councillor Peter Hume says there are two questions that must be answered – how much will it cost and will the Ontario and Federal Governments help fund the project.

The Ottawa Citizen reports Deputy City Manager Nancy Schepers will release a memorandum on Friday on the affordability of the transit system.

Ottawa’s Deputy City Manager insists choosing Light Rail Transit technology for Ottawa’s Rapid Transit Network will result in millions of dollars saved.

Nancy Schepers told Councillors that fewer train cars in the light rail system would transport more people faster, saving $25 million a year.

Schepers says the system sets the stage to save $100 million.

A report for the Transit Committee recommends the city proceed with LRT technology over Light Metro Technology, saying it’s suitable for the city’s unpredictable climate and has higher passenger capacity.

The Transit Committee will vote on the technology recommendation in November.

The city’s Transit Tactical Plan estimates the downtown Transit Tunnel and converting the Transitway to Light Rail from Blair Road to Tunney’s Pasture will take two-thousand buses a day out of the downtown area in 10 years.

It also says the Bayview bus station would be turned into a major hub for Ottawa and Gatineau.

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