City issues Notice of Default to Rideau Transit Group

OTTAWA – The City of Ottawa issued a Notice of Default to Rideau Transit Group (RTG) today (March 10), the partnership responsible for maintaining the Confederation Line.

“Members of council are united in their resolve to compel RTG to deliver the improved LRT service our transit passengers expect, and that the City has paid for,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Through this unanimous decision, we are sending a clear message to RTG.”

RTG is a general partnership formed by ACS RTG Partner Inc., SNC RTG Partner Inc. and Ellis Don RTG Partner Inc. Under the Project Agreement, RTG is responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the Confederation Line, including the vehicles and stations, and the performance of its sub-contractors. The city is also asking RTG to take a much more active role in compelling its key sub-contractors – including Alstom – to improve their performance on an urgent basis.

“We need RTG to step up their efforts to improve LRT service for our transit customers,” said Coun. Allan Hubley, chair of the Transit Commission. “Taking this unprecedented step is part of our commitment to make sure residents are getting the level of service they deserve and that we expect from a world-class consortium.”

The Notice of Default is a contractual notice advising RTG it is not fulfilling its obligations under its contract with the city. This escalation of the city’s legal rights is in response to RTG’s failure to provide reliable service with the vehicles, stations and across the system since service started last September. RTG will now have a duty to produce a plan and schedule to remedy these failures. There will be no interruption to rail service.

“We are not receiving the service that we contracted. This is an escalation in the Project Agreement and the first step to terminate the contract should RTG not remedy the issues,” city manager Steve Kanellakos said. “We will bring their plan to council with our assessment on how they intend to fix the ongoing problems and ensure they meet their obligations under the contract in a timely manner.”

On Monday, March 9, council directed staff to prepare and deliver a Notice of Default to RTG, requiring RTG to provide a plan and schedule by Tuesday, March 31, for how it intends to fix these ongoing issues. Council also delegated authority to the city manager to take any other actions required under the project agreement to give effect to council’s decision. Staff will report back to Council at its meeting on Wednesday, April 8.