O-Train to shut down for 16 months in 2020

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Michael Sun, The Charlatan

The O-Train Trillium line will be closed for 16 months, from the end of exams in April 2020 to September 2021, which will affect Carleton students and staff.

The closure is to expand the O-Train line south to Bowmansville Road and the Ottawa International Airport by 2021. There will also be additional stations at Gladstone, Walkley, and South Keys.

The City of Ottawa will also expand the O-Train east to Trim Road by 2022, and to the Bayshore Shopping Centre and Algonquin College by 2023.

David Chernushenko, the city councillor for the Capital Ward, which includes Carleton, said there will be disruption for students and the public, but construction is necessary.

“There was going to have to be closure no matter what,” Chernushenko said. “Safety rules require that there be no work on a track when there are active trains running.”

He said closing the O-Train one time will lead to more efficient construction and communication with the public.

“If you’re going to tell customers O-Train service is down and there’s alternative bus service, you might as well just do it once,” he said.

The closure is part of the second stage of the construction of Ottawa’s light rail transit system (LRT).

Airport CEO asks city for more seamless LRT ride to downtown

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City committee leaves door open for a one-transfer trip in the future, just not to start

The new Stage 2 map shows LRT extending to Moodie Drive in the west, Trim Road in the east, and a spur line to the Ottawa International Airport in the south. (City of Ottawa) 

By Kate Porter, CBC News

The future light rail ride between the Ottawa International Airport and downtown should be more seamless, especially during off-peak times and on weekends, the airport's CEO told city councillors and the mayor as they debated plans for more than $3 billion worth of light rail construction.

On Friday, the finance and economic development committee unanimously approved the wide-ranging procurement and design plans for Stage 2 of light rail, with its long and complicated list of recommendations.

Stage 2 of Ottawa's LRT to extend farther, cost more than originally planned
Details emerged when the massive staff report was made public Feb. 17: the trip from the Ottawa International Airport to downtown would take about 40 minutes.

That would involve a transfer at the future South Keys station and again at Bayview, where riders would switch from the diesel-powered Trillium line to electric cars on the east-west Confederation Line into downtown.

Airport CEO asks for better transit ride

Vehicle congestion at the airport is getting worse, CEO Mark Laroche told the finance committee.

​"Business and leisure travellers to and from the airport need predictability, reliability and frequency if they're going to use mass transit to and from the downtown core," said Laroche, who has advocated for the airport link.

Laroche told the committee he's reassured because the station at South Keys will be built in a way that still allows the possibility for airport trains to travel straight to Bayview.

He asked that when the contract goes out to tender this spring, the city ask bidders to propose ways to allow trains to travel without transfers at South Keys, at least on weekends and off-peak times.

The city is open to ideas for faster service, said Mayor Jim Watson.

"But we don't want to mislead people. We think what we've put forward is realistic and affordable and within budget," he told reporters.

Stage 2 LRT public information session

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Wednesday, March 1, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W. (Champlain Room)

The City of Ottawa will host a public information session on Stage 2 LRT on Wednesday, March 1, starting at 6:30 p.m.

 
A link to the Facebook Live event will be sent to you in advance of the Information Session. If you plan on hosting a viewing event in your ward, please inform Don Lonie (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) so that the details can be shared with the public.
 
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions,

Residents are invited to participate in an public information session on the Stage 2 Light Rail Transit (LRT) proposal, the largest infrastructure project in the City's history.

City staff will deliver a presentation on the Stage 2 LRT project and take residents' questions. You can attend in person at City Hall or take part in an interactive online session. The presentation will be broadcast live on the City of Ottawa's Facebook page, where residents are invited to participate in an online question and answer period. They will also be able to view the public information session on the City's YouTube channel. For more details, please visit ottawa.ca.

 

City urged to work faster on climate change strategy

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City councillors faced criticism from local environmental organizers who pointed to a lack of hard data in the city's plan to cut carbon emissions.

By Haley Ritchie, Metro

Winterlude could one day become waterlude if we don't move fast enough, according to one speaker urging city councillors to move faster on its climate change plan.

"Climate change is here, it's impacts are increasingly severe," said Coun. David Chernushenko, who kicked off Tuesday's environmental committee meeting with a global tally of flooding, wildfires and short winters.

"They're just as real here in Ottawa, where we have not yet seen anything close to the scale of the impacts on other places," he said.

Staff gave an update to councillors on the city's renewable energy strategy, including the $300,000 set aside last year for pilot projects meant to "increase energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy generation."

Most initiatives target the largest carbon emitters: buildings and vehicles. Many members of the public who spoke expressed concern that not enough was being done.

Angela Keller-Herzog, a small business owner living in downtown Ottawa, criticized the city's plan for lacking hard data and not providing incentives to individuals. Keller-Herzog said her bed and breakfast has solar panels and bicycles for guests.

"We shouldn't be complacent and we're not actually doing that great," she said.

Chernushenko called the crique "accurate and necessary."

Graham Saul from Ecology Ottawa echoed that criticism, concerned that the city wasn't moving fast enough to combat climate change.

"I'm seeing a real disconnect between what the community is looking for and what we're prepared to do," said Coun. Jeff Leiper.

"I know for real change to occur we need to set bold targets, finance those, measure them and report back. Those four steps help us to go forward," said Coun. Catherine McKenney. "Without any one of them it's easy to not meet what we want to meet."