A high-speed rail link between Alberta’s two major cities would benefit Calgarians more than their Edmonton counterparts, according to the province’s report.
The report, released yesterday, compared a number of factors between the two cities, based on a train that would travel at speeds of 500 kilometres-per-hour.
In Calgary, the high-speed rail would see 3,125 jobs created in comparison to 2,050 that it would create in Edmonton, the report said.
In terms of income benefits, Calgary would see an increase of $235.7 million, whereas Edmonton would see an increase of $146.1 million.
The report adds that the property value benefits would reach $736.1 million in Calgary and $449 million in Edmonton.
Adam Legge, vice-president and chief economist with Calgary Economic Development, agrees that it would benefit Calgary more than Edmonton.
“I think there is more travel of Calgary businesses up to Edmonton, whether it’s to meet with government officials or oil-related companies versus the number of people that need to come down from Edmonton to Calgary,” said Legg.
However, Ron Gilbertson from the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, said that there are too many variables to project the difference between the two cities over the next 30 years.
“You are going to have a fair bit of variability because you’re making a lot of assumptions about how fast the economy is going to grow, the population and how many people will be travelling,” said Gilbertson. “I would be surprised if the difference between the two cities would be all that great.”