FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA - Horizon Ottawa and Free Transit Ottawa are calling on Ottawa’s City Council to cancel the 30-year maintenance contract with the City’s private sector partner, the Rideau Transit Group as well as to hold an independent investigation into incidents surrounding the safety of the LRT that eventually led to its derailment. The September 19th derailment and the now recently reported August 8th derailment were just two in a series of issues raised about the safety of the LRT in just the past several months.
“Our organizations called for a public emergency meeting last month but the Mayor along with others on City Council simply ignored it and in doing so ignored the severity of the situation.” Said Nick Grover, a representative of Free Transit Ottawa. “Residents and taxpayers deserve better than wasting $4 to $5 million a month on a private maintenance contract that doesn’t even deliver, we need to cancel the RTG contract now and put an end to disastrous public-private partnerships that hurt our transit system.”
It was announced over the weekend that Mayor Jim Watson hired a firm to perform an investigation but it was later revealed that it was the STV Group, the same group that helped in the building of the LRT. STV was responsible for coming up with criteria for awarding procurement contracts around LRT Stage 1 and its chief strategy officer has sat in private closed door meetings with Jim Watson in the past, according to news reports.
“When we say an impartial, independent review, we mean an independent, impartial review,” said Sam Hersh, a Board Member with Horizon Ottawa. “Hiring a firm that already has close ties with the City and the Mayor raises a lot of concerns and begs the question: What is this Mayor hiding?”
For Media Inquiries:
Free Transit Ottawa