End This Epic LRT Failure Doug Ford

The City of Ottawa has failed to fix the $6.4-billion light-rail project now for five years.

Five years is much more than enough time to repair this train. In the process of this incompetence, it has also badly damaged the bus system because the spine of the transit system, light rail, is unreliable. OC Transpo can come nowhere near its modest ridership targets. It will get worse.

Now the city, rather than intensely trying to repair the line, is seeking a political solution … a public-relations solution. It is trying to blame Alstom for the problems on the line. But that’s wrong. The Transportation Safety Board says Alstom’s wheel-hubs are up to standard but they are breaking due to unusual stress being placed upon them. Rail lines are not fixed through public relations. LRT will not function well in the midst of a blame-game.

A recent public meeting had rail-builder Rideau Transit Group and the city attending. Where was Alstom? That’s a bad look. It’s politics. And politics doesn’t fix a rail line.

Playing politics after five years of failure trying to fix the line is pathetic. Do the principals spend another two years on this game before finding a possible root cause of this mess. They are back to squabbling among themselves. Accordingly, Ottawa transit riders are back to square one.

The fault in this saga that has irreparably damaged the bus and rail system resides at the top.


Try this on. If you bring back a box of cereal to a store because it was faulty, the store owner will likely say go get another box. Taxpayers fork out $6.4 billion for light rail and what do we get? Incompetence, lies, noversight, recklessness, broken laws and now, five years into fruitless repairs of LRT, the blame game and politics.

This crew has screwed up for five years of non-repairs. They are no closer to a solution for this mess than they were in 2019. They are unable to perform their duties. Five years is way too long and these people still don’t have a plan or a root cause for the failure. These people have tried to fix this line for half a decade. They are not competent enough to make this transit system work now or in the foreseeable future.

This must end.

Premier Doug Ford needs to appoint a commissioner who can run this city until at least the next election. Ford needs to find an expert in big-project management and trouble-shooting to stop the hideous politicking and ridiculousness surrounding this horribly failed plan. Ford also needs to appoint an auditor to look into the questionable machinations surrounding LRT and other city policy disasters. For example, the city will try to fix a failed Lansdowne by giving us $419 million of the same failure. No found root cause there but a lot of money changing hands.

This gang has proven it cannot complete LRT. It simply can’t. It is impossible to be more clear. It has turned into one of the worst procurement and construction big projects in Canadian history.

Ottawans do not deserve this. We deserve what we paid for … a functioning and efficient transit system. We didn’t get it in the past, the present nor likely will in the future with a flawed project, an incompetent staff, an ineffective mayor and a city council that is hideously out of its depth.

Take over this city and this project premier before all this becomes your problem by refusing to act.

The cities are creatures of the province. The duty of Queen’s Park is to give us good governance in the second largest city in Ontario. Its mass transit system is ruined. This city government has failed by any measure available and no longer deserves to wield the considerable power it has.

Act now, Doug Ford, End this colossal incompetence.

Ottawa light rail is an absolute and utter disaster.

Ken Gray

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5 Responses

  1. Miranda Gray says:

    Doug Ford is not a competent leader. It isn’t even clear he is aware Ottawa is an Ontario still. Help will not come from that direction.

  2. Ken Gray says:

    Miranda:

    I didn’t know Ottawa is a still.

    That might explain the drunk-like decisions on LRT.

    cheers

    kgray

  3. Ron Benn says:

    It appears that city hall and RTG have decided to gang up on Alstom. Another term for that is bullying, or just another day in the office at city hall.

    The time is long past pointing the fingers of blame. That is so elementary school. It is clear that there are no effective leaders at city hall. Not in the administration. Not in council chambers.

    So, I find myself having to agree with Ken. Reluctant as I may be, a leader must be brought in from outside.

    Is Bob Chiarelli still available and willing? We know he is capable of handling crises (see Ice Storm of 1998). He knows his way around city hall (1997-2006). He has a rolodex with all the important phone numbers in it, both provincial and federal.

  4. Bruce says:

    The LRT MESS is symptomatic of the whole of the operation at city hall. It is simply the biggest MESS and thus the most obvious MESS.
    City “planners” are bowing to developers, bylaws are being struck for no good reason (basketball banned) potholes are still rampant, garbage is about to be left at the curbside and that which is collected has no proper disposal, city police are under close scrutiny and Nero is still in the chair of the Mayor playing his fiddle. How much worse can it get?

  5. The Voter says:

    What about Graham Bird who, unlike the current crew at city hall, is an engineer. He actually knows how things work! The only issues might be if he was involved at any point with any of the parties to the chaos we are faced with as well as the fact that he’s busy working on the new Civic Hospital.

    He also knows his way around city hall, having served on council in the past. Maybe Ford can pair Bob Chiarelli and Graham Bird to make use of the expertise they would both bring to the table. They are certainly both deeply committed to this community.

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