LRT link to Orléans won't be ready by May 2025, OC Transpo confirms

Trim station is seen under construction in a drone photo taken in August 2023. When it opens, it will be the new eastern terminus of the Confederation Line. (Félix Desroches/CBC - image credit)

A spring opening of the LRT link to Orléans is looking unlikely as OC Transpo management says it won't be ready next May, floating summer as a more plausible launch date.

The timeline for the Confederation Line east extension has already been pushed back repeatedly: at one early point the goal was 2022, by 2019 it was 2024 and finally it was early next year. In a February update to the light rail subcommittee, staff laid out an opening range that ran from the second quarter of 2025.

At a transit commission meeting this Thursday, Beacon Hill-Cyrville Coun. Tim Tierney expressed concern that the system might not be ready in time to carry east enders to Bluesfest next year.

He then asked whether it could be open for passengers by the end of next May.

Transit services general manager Renée Amilcar said it would not.

"We anticipate it could be during the summertime," she said. "It will not be May, for sure."

Amilcar added: "Can it be July or August? Maybe."

Tierney was distressed by the news, noting the previous "slippage" in launch dates. He called summer "a pretty big ballpark" and pressed for a more precise date range. He repeatedly asked about the prospects for Bluesfest, which typically takes place in early July.

"Let's be honest with people," he urged. "If it's not going to happen, let's put a pin in it and let the public know."

Amilcar said she was "uncomfortable" committing to anything too specific.

In a media conference after the meeting, transit operations director Troy Charter resisted the notion that OC Transpo is again postponing the launch.

"We're not saying there's a delay or postponement, but we're being prudent in what information we're sharing in terms of what customers can expect," he said. "We just want to manage those expectations."

He said it's too early to commit one way or the other on Bluesfest 2025.