Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Ottawa eyes rail link to airport

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Ottawa officials plan to meet with their counterparts of the Ottawa International Airport Authority to ponder an airport-rail link for the Canadian national capital.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, in an email to city council members, said the city "is prepared to expand the scope" of an environmental assessment to determine whether a link to the airport is feasible. Such an assessment would proceed if a master plan is approved by the city council, local media report.

Watson cautioned, however, that any airport-rail link "cannot compromise" peak rail service for existing O-Train riders. City Deputy Manager Nancy Schepers has stated that a a direct link to the airport would jeopardize the city's goal of providing eight-minute headways.

Mark Laroche, president and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority, said he's prepared to work with the city plan.

OC Transit's five-mile O-Train line opened in October 2001, and carries roughly 14,300 riders per weekday using Bombardier Talent diesel multiple-unit (DMU) equipment.

Ottawa's 7.75-mile Confederation Light Rail Transit line, now under construction, will provide connections with the O-Train at O-Train's Bayview Station when the new line's Alstom Citadis Spirit equipment – more streetcar than LRT vehicle – goes into service.