The city can’t afford to wait another two decades for a new transit system, said a mayoral candidate.
“We need to improve our level of service and we need to do this now, not in 20 years,” said Clive Doucet, who unveiled his transportation plan yesterday. “Right now, we have two levels of service in the city — one for those who live near the Transitway, and one for everyone else.”
Ottawa faces a critical east-west traffic problem, he said. “Especially on the Queensway … Building a downtown tunnel will not solve this.”
There is only one way to increase capacity on the east-west corridor and reduce pressure on the 417, said Doucet, and that is a parallel rail service, which would put the LRT on Carling Avenue in the west and Orleans in the east.
“People will have a real travel choice between buses, trains and cars,” he said.
If elected, Doucet promised citizens LRT in four years, beginning work immediately on an east-west rail corridor along Carling to relieve commuter traffic on the 417, and extending the O-Train to the airport.
“The great cost for light rail is not cars or tracks, it’s rights of way,” he said.
“Do you want to spend $3 billion on 3.4 kilometres of tunnel and see no new rail service … until 2031, or do you want LRT in four years?”