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Ottawa making good on promise for Calgary's Green Line LRT funding

Last Updated May 15, 2018 at 3:04 pm MST

FILE PHOTO: Green Line SE map. (CREDIT: City Of Calgary)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Calgary Tuesday to announce Ottawa would invest up to $1.53 billion for the Green Line LRT project, which is the largest contribution ever made by the Government of Canada to an infrastructure project in Alberta.

“Today’s historic investment in Calgary’s public transit system will make it easier for people to get around and connect to the services they need, make our air cleaner, and create thousands of jobs for Canadians,” Trudeau said.

The first stage of the Green Line involves the design and construction of 20 kilometres of track, 14 stations, a fleet of 70 low-floor light rail vehicles, a vehicle maintenance and storage facility, eight bridges, four tunnels, and three park-and-ride facilities.

The previous Conservative government made the same announcement during the last election, but Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi explained Tuesday this is a bit different and there is a bit more funding, along with committing to the city’s timeline.

“More details will come soon, but we are very, very pleased with the cash flow and the funding,” he said. “As with what the provincial government announced last summer, they are giving us what I consider to be an accelerated timeline on the funding, which will save hundreds of millions of dollars in interest over time.”

Construction of this first stage is expected to begin in spring 2020 and be completed by late 2026.

An estimated 20,000 jobs will be created to support the system’s design and construction, with a further 400 long-term jobs forecasted for the operation and maintenance of the Green Line when it opens to the public.