Ottawas Confederation Line enters first weekday of service – OttawaMatters.com

Ottawa\s Confederation Line enters first weekday of service - OttawaMatters.com
LRT riders with disabilities share pros, cons of new Confederation Line
Ottawa’s new light-rail transit system rolled through its first rush hour on Monday with no problems, says the city.

The trains started on time and there were no incidents or delays, said the city in a statement, although staff are investigating an incident involving a trespasser at Tunney’s Pasture Station before service began.

The city also said Sunday that "O-Train ambassadors" are at all LRT stations to help riders access the line. Staff are also available to help show disabled riders how to best use LRT, and "support persons" can accompany them on-board for free as long as they've applied for the proper pass.

Taking the LRT on a test drive during Ottawas morning commute

Monday morning was the first real test of how the $2.1-billion light rail system moves thousands of week day commuters and most people reported a smooth and effective ride. We caught up with commuters on their way home to see if the Confederation Line’s rave morning reviews still held true.

"It's just frustrating because I'm a very independent person," she added. "I like the feeling [of being] able to go out and do things myself, but it's frustrating when I come across silly little things like not being able to put my own pass through."

Confederation Line testimonies: Day 1 LRT riders hopes and reviews

“It was a nice ride, however, when we got to Blair it was really messy, over a hundred people trying to get on the same bus, trying to get to Place D’Orléans or Trim. It was really difficult, we all were waiting. We didn’t know where to go, and it was too much people and not enough busses,” said Melanie Sorrell who was trying out the LRT system to see if it was more convenient than driving from her home in Orléans to her job at the University of Ottawa.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

“Hopefully they’re going to have more buses, if they do than it’s fine,” she said.

In a written response, the City of Ottawa said fare gates have been designed to accommodate people with mobility issues, with wider gates having two card readers at different heights so that riders can choose the one that's best.

University of Ottawa student Marie Du Cénacle Bumwemana said the LRT system has made her commute to school easier and faster.

She was also concerned about the lack of mirrors in the elevators, as she couldn't see if someone was behind her while backing out — or where the elevator platform ends if she backs in.

“For students trying to get to Carleton, it’s now going to take three different modes of transportation and make (commute time) an hour and 15 minutes. Taking the 39 to Blair, then the O-Train from Blair to Hurdman and then the bus from Hurdman to Carleton.”

However, he's concerned about how far it is to transfer between buses and trains at some stations, especially in winter. He also said he'd like to see larger buttons on the elevators.

Bonnie Clement, who works downtown, arrived back in Kanata shortly after 4 p.m. and said the commute was smooth sailing going both ways. She even managed to get a seat travelling both east and west.

But Sarah Bayerns has another story. She lives in Arnprior, and takes her car to a park and ride on Eagleson Road in Kanata, followed by a 40-minute bus ride to Tunneys Pasture, and a quick train ride downtown — a three-stage journey that was once only a two-stage trip.

"I have no peripheral vision. I could have easily driven over that and not seen it. And people with low vision or who are blind could have easily fallen over it."

Deb Richardson, who lives in Kanata North, used to take one express bus downtown. It is now a two-stage trip. There were two full buses before she could get on. And she notes that waiting for buses in the winter will be very cold.

"Some people with dexterity problems like myself, you have to be kind of right on," Brown said. "Some people may have trouble with that."

The train itself is lovely. But the commute itself is more strenuous, she said. It just feels longer. Theres a lot more walking. Heres what some other commuters had to say about their Monday morning ride on Twitter:

Then, there's a steep curb near the Scott Street entrance to Tunney's Pasture that doesn't have any warnings to warn people, Lougheed said.

First business day with our new LRT! Hurdman to Parlement in 8 minutes! @OC_Transpo @JimWatsonOttawa thank you!!! #OttawaLRT pic.twitter.com/IRtL3IRhFl

Dennis VanStaalduinen, executive director of the Wellington West BIA, tweeted that his high-school daughter shaved 50 minutes off her commuting time on Monday.

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.

My daughter took this time lapse of her new commute across town to high school – joking that the #OttawaLRT ride was only 30 seconds. But even with a bus transfer, she arrived at school 50 minutes early today. #OttLRTlaunch pic.twitter.com/KsEvuHDNok

Ellen Lougheed took her wheelchair onto the Confederation Line Saturday, the first day the 13-station, $2.1-billion network was open to the public.

Darcy White stood on the Tunneys platform with an electric scooter and a big smile. He rides the scooter from his home to a bus station near Bayshore and will transfer to the train from now on. I think its amazing. Its a masterpiece. TOM SPEARS / POSTMEDIA

She said the card reader at Tunney's Pasture station for passes and tickets was too high, and she needed someone to help her through the gates.

Darcy White stood on the Tunneys platform with an electric scooter and a big smile. He rides the scooter from his home to a bus station near Bayshore and will transfer to the train from now on.I think its amazing. Its a masterpiece, he said. So far I find that I can get where I want to go because theres no traffic. He had already tested the LRT, riding a train on the weekend.

Wheelchair user Bob Brown said he approved of the raised markings on the floors of the LRT stations, which guide people who are visually impaired.

Passengers use the Lyon Station gateways as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

A man boards the train with his bike at the Pimisi Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

He said he found the elevators a decent size and pretty fast. He also said the public washrooms were large enough to fit his power chair. 

Passengers ride the train as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

The city said it's currently assessing feedback from riders, and encouraged people to share concerns or questions with on-site staff.

A train pulls into the Lyon Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Krystalle Ramlakhan is a multi-platform journalist with CBC Ottawa. She has also worked for CBC in P.E.I., Winnipeg and Iqaluit.

A woman looks out the window as the train pulls into the Lyon Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Lythall has someone to help him get around, so the card readers weren't a problem like they were for Lougheed.

Performer known as Lucky Ron belts out a tune in the Lyon Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Lougheed said the card readers could be placed lower or on both sides of the fare gates, instead of just one. 

Jim Watson meets Tay Reeves,8, who wore a conductors cap to the ceremonies this am at Tunney's Pasture LRT Station.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Visual and audio feedback will let customers know their fare was successfully accepted, the statement said. 

Former Mayor Larry O'Brien (L) and Councillor Eli El-Chantiry catch up as the LRT officially opens with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Thousands of transit riders switched from their OC Transpo ride to school and work today, opting instead to try the new LRT line. CTV News followed one rider early this morning who was testing the new LRT line to commute downtown. Alyson Fair hopped on her usual 95 bus at Marketplace in Barrhaven, and then transferred onto the LRT at Tunneys for the ride to Parliament Station.

Passengers walk under a colourful ceiling as they head for a train at the Parliament Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

   My cameraman and I, on the other hand, are driving downtown.  It is not so relaxing. We arrive outside Parliament Station at 8:27, a 50-minute drive in very congested traffic. Alyson is already there.

Future customers wait outside the Tunney's station as the LRT officially opens with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

If you live in the burbs, you already know there is no easy way downtown during rush hour traffic.  We decided to compare notes with Alyson:  she timed her trip on transit and a CTV news crew drove. 

Caroline Mulroney, Ontario Minister of Transportation and Mayor Jim Watson unveil the official plaque as the LRT officially opens with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Transit commission chair Allan Hubley tells CTV News there was an eight minute delay in the late afternoon due to a default code that needed to be reset. The issue has been solved and trains are moving.

A phone booth in the Lyon Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

A train pulls into the Pimisi Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. Waiting for a train at Tremblay Station Saturday. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

That would be awesome if we have LRT, said one woman at the Barrhaven Marketplace transit station, Maybe only 20 minutes going to downtown?  That would save a lot of time.

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. Waiting for a train at St. Laurent Station Saturday. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

Took it from Blair to UOttawa and walked over the canal to work! Was impressed with the speed! I was dreading this, but it was not as bad as I thought! pic.twitter.com/oxE8rayCSE

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. Hundreds of people waiting to get onto the new LRT at Blair Station Saturday. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

Alyson hops on the bus at 7:37and is on the train at 8:17, forty minutes later, even recording part of the experience, which she finds relaxing.

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. Waiting for a train at St. Laurent Station Saturday. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. A train arrives at Cyrville Station Saturday. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. Hundreds of people waiting to get onto the new LRT at Blair Station Saturday. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. People waiting to get on the new LRT at Blair Station Saturday. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

I love it, added Floyd Pushelberg, about the LRT, Its amazing.  I cant wait for it to come to Baseline Station.

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. A train comes into Blair Station Saturday. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

Im headed from here to the University of Ottawa, says student Surabhi Velagala, I switch at Tunneys pasture.

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. Blair Station Saturday. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

It was great, says Susan Cobb, but it wasnt as quick as I thought it would be. Its not as quick as the bus.

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. Security at Blair Station Saturday. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

Alyson Fair at Parliament station after her commute on Ottawas new Light Rail Transit system on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019.

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. People waiting to get onto the new LRT at Blair Station Saturday. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

It will be Alyson Fairs first LRT ride, too.  She lives in Manotick and takes the bus downtown from Barrhaven.

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

After all this time working downtown and seeing the construction, and seeing the delays, its quite exciting.

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

Don Murray says, As far as my commute, it was only 6 minutes as opposed to 15 or 20 minutes to get downtown.

Artwork on the walls of Lyon Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Hi, Im here, she says, Im quite impressed. That was a fun ride and a good way to start the morning.

Passengers check the route as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Usually, it takes me 40 minutes because its one bus, she says, I have never had to do a transfer.

The entrance to the Lyon Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Artwork in the Lyon Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Passengers on the train as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

“I just kind of wanted to see how it would work out for downtown, especially since my parents live on the east end, it might make it easier for me to get to them – if anything, maybe faster hopefully. But I do look forward for Stage 2 because we did get the notice about how it’s going to go to Moodie and that might be very helpful for me to get to work.”

Directions on the sidewalk along Queen St near the World Exchange as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

“We haven’t been to all the stations of course, I’m going to have to just practice and figure out what all the different TWSIs (tactile walking surface indicators) mean and all of the wayfinding pathways. It’s great. You can just put your cane in and just go. It’s like the Vienna airport.

A historic day in the capital Saturday as the public finally got to ride the LRT system. Ashley Fraser/Postmedia   Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

A historic day in the capital Saturday as the public finally got to ride the LRT system. Ashley Fraser/Postmedia   Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

The doors close as a train is set to leave Pimisi Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

James Casselman: “My main concern is, is it better than the original system? Because if it’s not, then what’s the point? Isn’t it two-billion dollars that was spent on this? If it’s not faster, it’s a complete waste.”

LRT launch, September 14, 2019. Photo by Jean Levac/Postmedia News assignment 132258   Jean Levac /Postmedia News

A historic day in the capital Saturday as the public finally got to ride the LRT system.   Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

James Casselman (left) and Shirley Bien-Aimé (right) came into Tunney’s Pasture station within the first half-hour of the Confederation Line’s opening. They said they hope the LRT will make their commute faster and more efficient.

Jim Watson enjoys the first LRT ride during the LRT launch, September 14, 2019. Photo by Jean Levac/Postmedia News assignment 132258

Sylvie Béland goes through the gates at the Lyon Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

“I don’t commute on a daily basis but this is just kind of more an exploration. I have three younger kids and they’ll be using this quite a bit. (My) expectation would just be smooth, safe, timely and clean.

Andrew Maffrey and Daphne Lessard with their daughter Sabine come through the gates at Parliament Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

“I could hear the announcements wonderfully in both languages. On the buses … if the bus is too loud, you can’t hear and then you have to ask the person beside you but this one, it was perfect.”

Jim Watson and Caroline Mulroney (R) enjoy the LRT launch, September 14, 2019. Photo by Jean Levac/Postmedia News assignment 132258

“(The delay) was kind of frustrating. … It took a long time but I guess I’d rather have it done correctly and late than then maybe started a little early if it wasn’t safe and ready.”

John Manconi (L), Allan Hubley and Jim Watson enjoy the LRT launch, September 14, 2019. Photo by Jean Levac/Postmedia News assignment 132258

On the LRT’s opening day, Sandy Hill resident Gregory Soutar boarded the Confederation Line at Lees Station, rode it to Blair Station in the east end and then back west to Tunneys Pasture.

A historic day in the capital Saturday as the public finally got to ride the LRT system. People check everything out at the Lees Station between trains coming and going. Ashley Fraser/Postmedia

Ottawa residents Brenda Bush (left) and Sally Plant (right) rode the Confederation Line on its opening day. Bush said she felt ‘relief’ as she explored the stations and the trains.

A historic day in the capital Saturday as the public finally got to ride the LRT system. A young child takes time on the Hurdman Station stairs. Ashley Fraser/Postmedia

A historic day in the capital Saturday as the public finally got to ride the LRT system. Ashley Fraser/Postmedia

Barrhaven resident Dee Dava (centre) rode Ottawa’s Confederation Line from Tunney’s Pasture to Rideau station with her family on the LRT system’s first day in operation.

A historic day in the capital Saturday as the public finally got to ride the LRT system. 20-week-old Theo Eisener enjoyed his ride on the train Saturday. Ashley Fraser/Postmedia

“We live in Barrhaven now, so they need to bring it out there. Honestly, it’s not really going to benefit us that much … because we still have to bus to it.

OC Transpo Special Constable agents walk through Lees Station on Saturday.   Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

“I’m just here to see if it’s faster. If it’s not more efficient, I don’t see the point of it all. But I’m hoping for the best.”

A card reader for the LRT system, which opened to passengers on Saturday.   Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

A view of Hurdman Station on Saturday afternoon as trains come and go.   Ashley Fraser /Postmedia

“Even on the first day it’s pretty crowded but there is enough room for the stroller. It was easy at Bayview to get in with the stroller.”

Without LRT Id just be sitting in traffic over there on the bus, White said, pointing to Scott Street. Once you get past Tunneys (eastbound) traffic starts to slow the bus. It takes as long to go from here to downtown as it does to go from Bayshore to here. I think it (LRT) is a huge improvement.

“(I’m looking) to see if it’s as efficient as how the buses work because with the buses I’m able to go wherever I need to go.

OC Transpo is maintaining bus service as usual until Oct. 6 to allow commuters to get used to the changes that come with LRT.

Global News Ottawa got several residents’ first impressions of the new O-Train – some before they rode the rails, and some after.

Commuters at the Tunneys Pasture LRT on Monday morning. Patrick Doyle/Ottawa Citizen Patrick Doyle / OTT

“It’s great. We’re from Toronto … so it’s very familiar. We’ve waited a while for this.

>Commuters from Ottawas western suburbs must take a bus to the Tunneys LRT station, which is the most western stop on the line.>Peter McRae said he came from Stittsville on the bus to the Tunneys LRT station. My bus stops just above (the train) on the trackway up there. So getting off the bus, getting down here at this time of day has been simple.

The transition so far has been awesome.You dont expect to see too many problems with the morning integration. But the returning home rush hour integration— you might want to compare the two. I suspect there are going to be a lot more people here waiting for buses than there are people here waiting for trains.

The long-awaited LRT system officially opened the station and train doors to passengers just before 2 p.m. on Sept. 14.

Trains run on the Confederation Line – between Tunneys Pasture and Blair stations – every five minutes or less during rush hour, which is between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Brenda Bush: “Relief. It’s lovely. … It’s less work than a bus. It just feels more spacious.

Test run of commute to new job this morning. Clean and comfortable 46 mins from Stittsville to Parliament Station – one transfer. Could not do that in my car! Liking the new addition to @ottawacity . Well done @JimWatsonOttawa @JennaSudds @C_Mulroney @karenmccrimmon #OttawaLRT

“Stations are good, they have elevators at every station. I have no problem getting around at all.

Ottawa Councillor Jeff Leiper rode his bike to the station and locked it up before jumping onto an LRT train for a Monday morning ride.

Counc. Mathieu Fleury, who also Tweeted about his rush-hour ride on Monday, said it took him only a few minutes to get from Rideau to Lees stations. It is fast!

Some commuters were still getting used to the LRT stations, with one person tweeting Monday that Lyon station was confusing.

Lyon station needs a map or someone to direct commuters. It was more confusing than Union Station in Toronto.

Was pleasantly surprised during my very first ride aboard Ottawa's LRT this morning. It's just a bummer that my commute is now 10 minutes longer. Can't wait for the east extension to Trim! #ottLRT #welcomeaboard #octranspo

The Société de transport de lOutaouais had a group of smiling agents on the south sidewalk of Wellington Street on Monday morning, explaining how STO passengers will still be dropped off two blocks north of Lyon station but this will change in the future. Sometime. None of the passengers appear bothered in the slightest

Kathy Turner, who commutes from the east end of the city, estimated the LRT system shaved 15 minutes off her hour-long commute on Monday morning.

Taking the train from its east end makes it a lot better. It makes it quicker, she said. Im looking forward to the change on the way home as well because Im commuting through the density of rush hour (downtown).

Commuter Felicia St-Amour also saved time. She lives in Orléans but got a lift to the Cyrville LRT station on Monday. I counted the time to Tunneys and it was exactly 20 minutes, she said. The bus would take 25 to 30 minutes, said St-Amour.

The big difference with LRT? Lots of stop and go on the bus, especially downtown, she said. This (train) is really quick considering all the stops it has to go through. I feel it was pretty smooth with doors opening, people getting on and getting off. Way better than buses.

With certain people the bus needs to be lower, and that can take time. Then you hit the red light and youve got to wait. So its more unpredictable by bus going through the downtown.

St-Amour said had a seat for her LRT commute. It started getting crowded at Hurdman station, but traffic was lighter at Lyon, she said.

Commuters at the Tunneys Pasture LRT station on Monday. (Patrick Doyle/Ottawa Citizen. Patrick Doyle / OTT

One early issue appears to be the yellow grab bars. Many of them are overhead and more than six feet above the floor. Some passengers said they were too short to reach them and suggested that Transpo install handles that either hang down or swing down on a hinge.Several commuters heading west on Monday morning were also pleased with the LRT system. Tony Peluso lives downtown and travelled three stations from Lyon to Tunneys. Its better (than the bus) because the roads are getting quite bumpy so its a much smoother ride, so thats nice. And in winter youll be underground and waiting more comfortably. And Im hoping it will be more reliable. You wont get into traffic jams.

Abdon Alwe said his usual 15-minute bus trip from downtown to Tunneys was instead a four-minute train trip.

Its really nice, he said. He thinks many people are nervous about the train but its working well and they will all relax in time. Myself Im very happy.

Alwe does warns the train can squeal sometimes in the curves. And he worries that cost of a monthly pass will rise. Its already high — $116.

First Monday morning service and the flow of passengers through Parliament Station is impressive. People are passing through very quickly and fluidly. Fantastic to watch. Everyone is impressed and happy. A success! The future has arrived. #ottlrt #ottlrtlaunch #ottawa #OttawaLRT pic.twitter.com/UvwKV8srst

The soft opening of LRT went smoothly on the weekend, from the official opening with a whos who of Ottawa on Saturday morning to the first public rides on Saturday afternoon and throughout the day Sunday. There were some minor issues — notably temporary escalator glitches at Rideau station.

Troy Charter, director of transit operations with the city, confirmed there had been some intermittent issues with escalators, including the longest transit escalator in Canada — 35.3 metres — at Rideau station. Escalators on the system are working. There have been a few intermittent issues as can be expected on a new system. There are extra technicians on hand to respond, he said.

On Saturday, Charter suggested the issues may be attributed to customers jumping or bouncing on them as they are excited to ride the Confederation Line for the first time. In a statement Monday, the city said the disruption to escalators and elevators is being monitored. With new escalators, there is a breaking in period and fine tuning during which minor adjustments are required, said the statement.

The adjustments are straightforward and involves a simple reset by a certified technician. We have added technicians on site throughout the system for the launch period and their response time has been expeditious.

Sylvie Béland goes up the escalator at the Lyon Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Passengers walk under a colourful ceiling as they head for a train at the Parliament Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Artwork outside the Pimisi Station as the LRT is seen in operation on day 2 of the system up and running.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Artwork in the Lyon Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Artwork outside the Pimisi Station as the LRT is seen in operation on day 2 of the system up and running.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Artwork on the walls of Lyon Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

A canoe made of paddles is a work of art at the Pimisi Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Ottawa's new LRT system was up and running for the public for the first time in Ottawa Saturday Sept 14, 2019. Waiting for a train at St. Laurent Station Saturday. Tony Caldwell,   Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

A canoe made of paddles is a work of art at the Pimisi Station as the LRT officially opens on September 14, 2019 complete with ceremonies at Tunney's Pasture.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Artwork outside the Pimisi Station as the LRT is seen in operation on day 2 of the system up and running.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Artwork outside the Pimisi Station as the LRT is seen in operation on day 2 of the system up and running.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

Artwork outside the Pimisi Station as the LRT is seen in operation on day 2 of the system up and running.   Wayne Cuddington /Postmedia

The LRT systems 13 stations include a total of 59 elevators and 43 escalators. On Sunday, many people rode the train to see what it looked and felt like. Reaction was positive.

I think it is really smooth and fun to go on, said 10-year-old Dylan Feldberg, riding the Confederation Line with his mother. It is kind of satisfying because this is my first day.

Opening weekend for Ottawas LRT — the biggest milestone in the citys transit history — had been a long time coming. The $2.1 billion first phase of the citys LRT system had taken more than 10 years of planning, including 16 months of construction delays. Along the way there had been a giant sinkhole on Rideau Street where construction of the 2.5-kilometre tunnel under downtown was under way.

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