Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Canada commits US$825M to Ottawa LRT

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Canada commits US$825M to Ottawa LRT Office of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson

Ottawa's expansion of its light-rail system received a C$1.09-billion ($825-million) funding commitment from the Canadian government on June 16, 2017.

 

 Canada's financial backing will be applied toward total eligible costs to Stage 2 through the government's long-term plan, Investing in Canada. This is in addition to the more than C$67 million the federal government committed to Stage 2 through the first phase of the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund in 2016. This funding has been used to advance work associated with the Stage 2 project including early works and engineering, procurement of light-rail vehicles, the design of a rail-to-rail grade separation and consultation with Indigenous communities.

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Stage 2 would better connect the east, west and south areas of Canada's capital. The province of Ontario has also made a similar funding commitment to the project by investing CA$1 billion (US$770 million) towards Stage 2 LRT, plus 50 percent of the cost associated with extending the O-Train system to the Ottawa airport and from Place d'Orléans to Trim. The city of Ottawa is responsible for the balance of the funding, which should be around an additional C$1 billion.

"[This] announcement puts the final piece in place for the funding of the Stage 2 LRT project. We can now plan to put shovels in the ground in 2019 as we continue expanding our world-class LRT system. Building Stage 2 will not only create jobs during construction, it will also give Ottawa a competitive edge to attract talent and new businesses to our city once the project is complete," said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

Stage 2 will see an additional 38.8 km (24.1 miles) of rail and 23 new stations added to Stage 1 of the light-rail transit system currently under construction. This new stage of construction will begin in 2018. When construction is completed in 2023, 70 percent of Ottawa residents will live within 3.1 miles of light-rail transit.

This is the third Canadian transit project to receive major financial backing from the federal government in a week. Toronto Transit Commission's planned Yonge Subway north extension received a C$3.6-million federal commitment and Montreal's Metropolitan Electric Network received a C$1.28 billion commitment.

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