In a few years, the first section of rails will be laid down from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station and the city is looking for the best technology to run along those tracks.
Normally, technological issues are settled at the same time as the Transportation Master Plan, but given the important nature of converting the Transitway to trains and building the downtown tunnel, the city’s general manager of transit services Alain Mercier said it is important to take the time to get the best view going forward.
On Friday, city transit planners meet with representatives from other North American LRT systems, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Pittsburgh, New Jersey and San Francisco as well as senior talent from manufacturers like Alstom, Bombardier and Kinkisharyo.
“We’ve done a broad survey of the types of technologies,” said Mercier. “Now we’re focusing on what will work best to give us a high level of service, system reliability and the lowest lifecycle cost.”
Mercier said they are looking at a range of technologies, like how the trains are powered, the level of automation, the types of vehicle that could be in the fleet, the signalling systems, high-floor versus low-floor vehicles, and how it would all work with Ottawa’s climate.
City staff will make a recommendation to council on the preferred train technology for the transit system in September.