Long-Term Support For Ottawa Public Transit
$600 Million Investment In Light Rail Transit
OTTAWA -- The Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario, together with the Honourable David Pratt, Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Nepean-Carleton and His Worship Bob Chiarelli, today announced that their governments are committed to provide a total of up to $600 million in support of light rail expansion from downtown Ottawa to Barrhaven. This represents the largest intergovernmental infrastructure announcement in the City's history.
"A world class public transportation system is a critical component of a strong community," said Premier McGuinty. "And that is why we are proud to say we're prepared to be a full partner in this process. This investment will help us build strong, well-planned communities that provide a high quality of life. It is a great example of the City of Ottawa's smart growth management plan put into action."
"The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of developing a broader, integrated approach to rapid transit in the nation's capital," said Minister Pratt. "The financial commitment we announce today will allow Ottawa commuters to travel new light rail routes at the south end of the city to the downtown core, taking cars off the road and supporting important environmental objectives. This work will also open a path for future development and expansion of the system. We are ready to be partners on this important project for the long term."
The Governments of Canada and Ontario together with the City, have committed long-term support for the region's urban transit needs, by proceeding with a first phase of the O-Train expansion from Lebreton to Limebank. The total estimated for this phase is $300 million. They also committed to set aside $100 million each for development of further phases, including the extensions to downtown Ottawa and Barrhaven. Financial support would be conditional on meeting applicable federal and provincial requirements, including the successful completion of environmental assessments, ridership and other studies, and detailed engineering design.
"The O-Train will be the key element in a world-class transit system," said Mayor Chiarelli. "We are encouraged by the commitment and leadership of the federal and provincial governments to this project, which will see light rail serving residents from Barrhaven to downtown."
The Government of Canada's contribution will come from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF), through which it works with provinces, territories and municipal governments, as well as the private sector, to meet strategic infrastructure needs throughout the country. The CSIF supports large-scale strategic infrastructure projects that improve quality of life and further sustainable growth. The fund will help make Canada a world leader in developing vibrant, creative and prosperous cities and communities.
Today's announcement further reinforces the commitments of the Governments of Canada and Ontario towards sustainable communities through investments in public transit infrastructure that provide a better quality of life by limiting gridlock, controlling urban sprawl and protecting greenspace. Governments are working together to deliver real, positive change in Ottawa, and across the province.