The value of public-private partnerships for all society

As the messy aftermath of Ottawa's light rail launch plays out across the city, some are beginning to wonder whether the partnership model behind the project was a good idea in the first place. That's because public-private partnerships, or P3s — when government agencies and private-sector companies collaborate on major infrastructure projects — don't always work out, said Matti Siemiatycki, interim director of the University of Toronto's Sch"There's been a really mixed record with public-private partnerships in Canada, and globally," Siemiatycki told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning Monday.

The Confederation Line was built through one such partnership. The line was a joint venture between all three levels of government and the Rideau Transit Group (RTG) consortium of private companies. But the system has been beset by construction delays and a bevy of technical problems, which are as costly as they are frustrating. Transit riders don't want excuses — they want system that works: Manconi OC

Transpo to freeze fares until at least March "The Ottawa Confederation Line ... not only had challenges during construction, but is now having significant issues during operations," Siemiatycki observed. The city is bringing 40 buses back into service to compensate for delays, and continues to withhold payments from RTG. It's bringing additional buses into service earlier than expected to act as backup transport when the Confederation Line inevitably breaks down.