Ottawa blames private partner as train shortage bedevils new transit line

OTTAWA—Riders on Ottawa’s problem-plagued light-rail system are having another rough morning, with the city’s transit agency saying only eight of the usual 13 trains on the downtown line are in service.

The city is blaming the company it hired to design, build and maintain the line, which opened last fall.

Since then, the system been repeatedly brought to a halt by problems with stuck doors on trains.

And just in the last week, parts of the line have been shut down by a snapped power cable and switches that didn’t work in a weekend snowstorm.

And now the transit agency OC Transpo is warning that platforms and trains will be extra crowded and waits will be extra long on Tuesday because an array of separate problems is keeping more than half of its 17 trains off the tracks.

The agency says it’s billing the maintenance company for replacement buses, but there aren’t enough of those to keep up with the need.

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