The Ontario Minister of Transportation has stepped in to try to find out what has caused the numerous problems that have plagued the Ottawa LRT system. Cabinet voted Wednesday to launch a full-scale public inquiry into the LRT system, which was shut down for two months this fall after a derailment on Sept. 19.
Caroline Mulroney says before the province moves forward with funding Stage 2 of the project, “we need to understand what went wrong with Stage 1.” The transportation minister says the province plans to establish the terms of reference for its public inquiry into Ottawa’s problem-plagued LRT system “in the coming weeks.”
“We’re going to determine the scope, we’re going to set out the terms of reference, but the key is to get recommendations before we proceed with Stage 2,” she told Newstalk 580 CFRA’s The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll on Thursday. “People in Ottawa want answers as quickly as possible.”
At a news conference Mulroney said she hopes to have recommendations in the new year. The inquiry will look into the safety of the trains, technical elements, value for money and accountability, including examining the procurement process.
“We’ve been concerned about it for some time,” she said. “We’ve just decided we need to focus on what the root causes are of the chronic problems that have been plaguing Stage 1 before we move forward.”
The province kicked in $600 Million for the Ottawa project and was set to double that amount for phase two of the system which has been plagues with construction problems before it was completed and numerous breakdowns after it was opened. The Ottawa system is not being built by Metrolinx bit by a public-private consortium.