Ottawa

CEO of Rideau Transit Group steps down

The CEO of Rideau Transit Group — the consortium that built Ottawa's Confederation light rail train line — has resigned, the consortium announced in a news release Monday.

Peter Lauch was public face of Ottawa's LRT

Rideau Transit Group CEO Peter Lauch during a February 2020 news conference. On Monday, RTG announced Lauch is stepping down. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

The CEO of Rideau Transit Group — the consortium that built Ottawa's Confederation light rail train line — has resigned, the consortium announced in a news release Monday.

Peter Lauch led the partnership between ACS Infrastructure, SNC-Lavalin and Ellis Don since 2018.

Last year, when the LRT system was completed, he assumed the additional role of CEO of Rideau Transit Maintenance, which oversees repairs and maintenance of the new light rail system.

"When I accepted the challenge to head up RTG, my primary objective was to oversee the transition into revenue service. The RTM role was taken to quarterback the restructuring of Rideau Transit Maintenance," Lauch said in the news release.

"It was always my intention to stay on for the time necessary to complete those undertakings."

Lauch has been the public face of the LRT builder, answering questions from reporters and city council about the numerous problems with the Confederation Line, and the ongoing work to repair them and improve service.

Some of the senior people looking after the Confederation Line in Ottawa, from left: OC Transpo general manager John Manconi, city director of transit operations Troy Charter, city director of transit customer systems and planning Pat Scrimgeour and RTG CEO Peter Lauch in a February 2020 news conference. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

"Peter's tireless dedication to the project and his forthright transparency with all stakeholders have been hallmarks of his tenure," the release from Rideau Transit Group says.

"It is with this sense of appreciation that the Board of RTG and its principal partners, ACS Infrastructure, Ellis-Don and SNC-Lavalin have reluctantly accepted Mr. Lauch's decision."

As it stands, the City of Ottawa says the consortium is in default for not meeting its contract obligations.

Just last week, transit commissioners were calling for Lauch to come before them to explain when the train's issues would be resolved.

Lauch's resignation takes effect July 10, according to the release. Rideau Transit Groups says a transition plan will be announced in the coming days.

In a statement to CBC, Jim Watson's office said the mayor thanks Lauch for his service and looks forward to meeting the new CEO "so we can start to see greater progress on dramatically improving the reliability of the LRT for customers who have been more than patient since day 1."

With files from Kate Porter

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