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Rapid transit plan may need to be scaled back

The $600 million that the federal and provincial governments are each willing to commit to Ottawa’s rapid transit network means that the city will have to look at options for scaling back on the $2.1-billion project, deputy city manager Nancy Schepers said yesterday.

The $600 million that the federal and provincial governments are each willing to commit to Ottawa’s rapid transit network means that the city will have to look at options for scaling back on the $2.1-billion project, deputy city manager Nancy Schepers said yesterday.

The project cannot change too much, though, since the money was approved for the project that is currently on the table.

Some councillors have expressed interest in eliminating the tunnel or shortening the rail lines to run from Bayview to Hurdman.

However, since the environmental assessment for the conducted project was only considered the plan with a tunnel, any option without it would amount to hitting the reset button on the entire rapid transit file, said Schepers.

“Having surface rail is a different project,” she said. “I would suggest that surface rail will not work with the volume of traffic we need to put through the downtown.”

Without changes to reduce the cost of the project, the city can still afford its $900-million share without raising property taxes, said deputy treasurer Mona Monkman.

 
 
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