Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Light Rail Ottawa

We have been following the story of what was once called the BRT capital of North America; Ottawa's change to light rail technology. This started in 2001 with an 8km diesel light rail line. This pilot project was a huge success and because of that the City of Ottawa is now committed to light rail.

Over the last year, they finalized their new $2.1 billion light rail plan which includes: 12.5 km of new electrified light rail and a 3.2 km long twin tunnels under the city’s downtown core.
“The flexibility of the LRT system is a good fit for Ottawa’s transit needs in and outside the core,” said Transit Committee Chair Councillor Alex Cullen. “LRT can achieve the high capacities needed on grade-separated track and provide service outside the core by operating at-grade with vehicular and pedestrian traffic."
On December 18th, the Province of Ontario committed $600 million to the project and according to the CBC, it appear the federal government will be matching that:
Ottawa's light rail project could receive a funding commitment from the federal government early in 2010, says federal transport minister John Baird.

Baird said Wednesday there is already hundreds of millions available for the project, but he and other Ottawa-area MPs will "go to bat" to get more.

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