The Canadian capital city of Ottowa has confirmed it is committing more than CAD$1 billion (USD $780m / €680M) towards its new Light Rail Transit expansion project. The announcement by, Premier Kathleen Wynne represents the largest provincial transit investment in Ottawa's history. New, modern light rail vehicles on tracks separated from regular traffic will aim to offer fast, efficient service and improve travel for people across the region. The expanded LRT will also lower greenhouse gas pollution, improving air quality and support the provinces commitment to fighting climate change.
The Stage 2 LRT project will add 30 kilometres of new rail and 19 new stations, extending the LRT network to the east, west and south. Ontario's funding commitment will also help support the capital costs of two additional extensions: a spur to the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport and an extension to Trim Road in Orléans. These will add 6.5 kilometres of new rail and three stations. Construction on Stage 2 is expected to start in 2018, once the Stage 1 Confederation Line is completed. Stage 2 is expected to enter service in 2023.
Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario on the announcement; “The province remains committed to working with the City of Ottawa as it moves forward with implementing its Stage 2 LRT project. We know how important public transit is to managing congestion, curbing emissions, creating jobs and building communities.”
Quick Facts about LRT in Ontario.
- Ontario has already committed up to $600 million towards the Stage 1 LRT project, called the Confederation Line — a $2.1 billion project that is jointly funded with the Government of Canada and the City of Ottawa.
- Stage 2 will extend the Ottawa LRT network to the east from Blair to Place-d’Orléans Station; to the west from Tunney’s Pasture to Bayshore Station and southwest to Baseline Station; and to the South from Greenboro Station to Bowesville in Riverside South.
- Ontario’s commitment of more than $1-billion will also support two additional extensions, a two-stop spur from the Trillium Line to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, and a one-stop extension of the Confederation Line further east from Place-d’Orléans Station to Trim Road in Orléans.
- Construction is expected to generate nearly 24,000 person-years of employment, or nearly 1,000 full-time jobs.
- “Our investment in the Ottawa LRT will make a big difference in people’s everyday lives. It’s one of a number of historic investments in infrastructure that our government is making. It will help to create jobs and grow our economy now and for years to come.”
Ontario's funding for Stage 2 is part of the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history -- $160 billion over 12 years -- for projects such as roads, bridges, transit systems, schools and hospitals. The planned investments would support 110,000 jobs on average every year across the province. In 2015, Ontario announced support for more than 325 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life.
Investing in priority transit infrastructure is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education.
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