Now that the provincial government has committed $600 million to the city’s rapid transit plan, the focus of the work will be on solidifying financing from the federal government, Mayor Larry O’Brien said yesterday.
“Once that is done, by 2016, people who will be waiting for public transportation in the heart of Ottawa will be able to do so from the comfort of a subway station,” said O’Brien. “This is a game changer for the city of Ottawa.”
The first segment of the city’s $2.1-billion rapid transit plan is a 12.5-kilometre stretch from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station. The city had budgeted for the provincial and federal governments to contribute $700 million each to the project.
On Friday, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced the province would provide $600 million — the largest single investment in transit infrastructure in the city’s history.
Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi said they need to be prudent in how they invest the public’s money.
Naqvi said this money is intended to fund a light rail project for Ottawa, but it does not necessarily require that it be through a tunnel or at the surface.
“We have full confidence in the city that they will be able to manage those dollars well.”