Ineffective LRT Plan should be improved.
The project should be stopped and rethought using a value-for-money comparison against other alternatives. The use of $800 million to $1 billion dollars for only 29 km of light rail is not a good investment. Net new ridership is pegged at 1090 people according to the city's own ridership study. The extremely successful current O-Train should be retained and expanded upon, not replaced.
Other economically sustainable alternatives developed in a phased approach would cost less and bring more value to the city in terms of ridership, downtown congestion relief and pollution reduction. Residents, taxpayers and transportation experts agree that the city is going down a very expensive and inflexible path. Please direct the city to change course and consider better options such as:
- Retain the current diesel O-Train (currently up for sale) and expand the service into Gatineau and the airport.
- Remove buses from downtown and provide an electric rail service from Bayview to Hurdman, using the buses to provide a better local service.
- Extend the diesel OTrain to a park and ride in Leitrim.
- Use the VIA corridor (an available, shorter route) to connect Barrhaven to downtown.
- Align the track along the Airport Parkway, not through forested greenspace.
- Put the maintenance yard at the existing brownfield Walkley site, not in a federally-protected wetland.
If any part of the $200 million in federal money is to be used on this project, then the city must adhere to the terms of the MOU by providing a business case justifying that the project is superior to other alternatives. I for one, don't think it will be possible unless the project plan is altered.