QUEEN’S PARK – Ottawa Centre NDP MPP Joel Harden called on the Ford government during question period Monday to help fix the problems plaguing phase one of the Ottawa LRT.
Since the LRT’s launch in September, mechanical failures have repeatedly ground the system to a halt, leaving thousands of commuters stranded. The provincial government is a major partner of the Ottawa LRT — funding $600 million in the initial phase and committing a further $1.2 billion for the second phase — but has taken no concrete action to stem the crisis Ottawa is experiencing.
On Nov. 30, Harden hosted a packed town hall meeting, where more than 100 people shared their frustrations with the transit system.
“Riders are at their wits’ end, and some are giving up on taking transit altogether,” said Harden. “One person told us about how she has to bike everywhere now, even on roads without cycling infrastructure. Another said it takes her just as long to walk from her job in Hull as it does to take transit.”
To make matters worse, the secretive nature of the LRT’s private partnership model means that people are being left without answers despite the best efforts of city councillors.
“The provincial government is accountable, too, because it put $600 million in to the LRT for phase one, and has committed $1.2 billion for phase two,” said Harden. “I am urging this government help the City of Ottawa fix this mess and take steps to make sure that phase two is not a disaster.”