With public transit ridership plummeting as workers stay home in droves in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Confederation LRT Line is being closed for maintenance this weekend and during another five-day stretch later in May.
City officials said Wednesday the O-Train Line 1 will be shut down and replaced with replacement bus service this Saturday and Sunday and again from May 9-13.
In a memo to councillors, OC Transpo boss John Manconi said the shutdown will enable the Rideau Transit Group, the consortium that built the 12.5-kilometre track, to complete “maintenance activities” and other work related to issues that have dogged the light-rail line since it opened last October. Manconi said “low ridership resulting from COVID-19” has given RTG a window to do the work now.
This weekend, crews will work on train control systems and upgrade various software applications used on the trains. In the following days, repairs will focus on track infrastructure and the overhead power supply system. Seasonal maintenance work at stations will also be done during the shutdown.
Entrance grills and doors at most Confederation Line stations will be closed, and passengers will have access only to replacement bus stops.
Meanwhile, the O-Train’s Trillium Line will shut down for two years beginning Sunday to allow the north-south track to be extended to Riverside South and the airport.