Ottawa Light Rail Transit (LRT) Stage 2, Ontario, Canada

Light rail vehicle

Stage-2 Light Rail Transit (LRT) is a proposed light rail extension to the under-construction Confederation Line, which is the first stage of the new LRT system in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

In 2013, the LRT extension was approved by Ottawa City Council as part of its Transportation Master Plan. The project encompasses three rail extensions, which will extend Stage-1 to further east, west and south of Ottawa.

The project received environmental approval in June 2015, while the implementation approval was received in February 2017. With the Stage-1 entering service in 2018, the Stage-2 construction works will begin in 2018 with completion scheduled for 2023.

The extension project is expected to create 24,000 years of employment, while contributing $3.8bn to the GDP.

Details of Stage-2 LRT project

The Stage-2 project will add a total of 36km of rail line and 22 new stations to the O-Train system from Bayshore to Place d'Orleans, and south to Bowesville at Riverside South.

The proposed three extensions include Confederation Line West, Confederation Line East and Trillium Line South.

Confederation Line West will be a 13km extension beginning from Tunney's Pasture and extending beyond Bayshore to Moodie Drive, with a total of ten stations. It will extend up to Algonquin College in the south-west.

The ten LRT stations will be located at Westboro, Dominion, Cleary, New Orchard, Lincoln Fields, Iris, Baseline, Queensview, Pinecrest and Bayshore.

"The project received environmental approval in June 2015, while the implementation approval was received in February 2017."

The West extension will also see the construction of an additional maintenance and storage facility at the Moodie Drive.

Confederation Line East will add another 13km to the line from Blair to Place d'Orléans Station, and then extend to Trim Road. It will have five stations at Montreal Road, Jeanne d'Arc, Orléans Boulevard, Place d'Orléans and Trim.

Trillium Line South will be an approximately 10km extension with seven stations. It will begin at Greenboro and pass through Gladstone, Walkley, South Keys and Leitrim to finally reach Bowesville.

The Stage-2 project also includes an airport rail link from South Keys station on the Trillium Line. The Trillium Line South extension will be first to commence operations in 2021, followed by East extension in 2022 and West extension in 2023.

Rolling stock for Ottawa LRT Stage-2

Contractor Rideau Transit Group (RTG) will deliver 38 Alstom Citadis light rail vehicles (LRVs) for the extension project. The LRVs will be equipped with onboard communications and train control components. RTG will be responsible for building, testing and operation of the vehicles.

RTG will also expand the Belfast maintenance and storage facility (MSF) to accommodate the additional fleet to be added in Stage-2. The MSF will be expanded to house and maintain up to 66 LRVs.

Investment for the Stage-2 extension

The estimated investment for the three proposed extensions under Stage-2 is $3bn (excluding the cost of Trim extension and the Airport rail link), of which $1bn (including the cost of Trim extension and the Airport link) is being contributed by the Ontario government in partnership with the City of Ottawa.

The federal government announced more than $65m for the enabling works of the project. The funding will be used for early works and preliminary engineering, acquisition of four LRVs, and for other supporting works.

The province also made a commitment to provide 50% of the capital costs for the Airport Rail Link and the Trim Extension, which would cost approximately $315m.

Procurement for the LRT project

The City Council will continue working with existing partner Rideau Transit Group (RTG) for the Stage-2 project procurement process, which will be undertaken through two competitions.

The first competition will be for a $2.5bn design, build and finance contract for the East and West extensions, including airport, Trim and Highway 417, as well as city-bundled works.

Another will be a $535m design, build, finance and maintenance competition for the Trillium Line extension.

Contractors involved

The preliminary engineering and project management services contract for the Stage-2 LRT project was awarded to Capital Transit Partners (CTP), a joint venture comprising STV Canada Consulting, URS Canada/Aecom, Jacobs Associates Canada Corporation, and Morrison Hershfield.

Benefits of extending Ottawa's LRT system

The extension project will take-off approximately 14,000 cars from the road, relieving traffic congestion during peak hours. It will bring 70% of the city's population within 5km of rail transit.

The project will also reduce greenhouse gases emissions by 155,000t over a 25-year period.