With the release of a strong business case for the downtown Ottawa transit tunnel, the chair of the city’s transit committee is expecting funding commitment from the federal government to follow “any day now.”

“They’re about to announce. It’s just a question of when,” said mayoral candidate and Bay Ward Coun. Alex Cullen. “The details of the business case go to prove, not only that we need this project, but that is has very positive benefits for the city of Ottawa.”

Yesterday, the city released the business case on the on the project’s new website, www.ottawalightrail.ca.

The first 12.3 km-section of the city’s light rail line would run from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Road Station through a 3.2 km tunnel.

The project is budgeted to cost $2.1 billion, but the city is estimating that it will inject a total of $3.2 billion into Ottawa’s economy and generate “20,000 person-years” of work.

Even with a transfer factored in, the tunnel will save the typical OC Transpo rider up to 15 minutes on their daily commute by avoiding the congested traffic through downtown.

The electric trains are expected to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 38,000 tonnes.

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