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Three city councillors calling for scaled back Green Line

Last Updated Jun 9, 2020 at 12:23 pm MST

The CTrain runs in downtown Calgary on Monday, March 20, 2017. (Photo by Chelsey Harms/660 News)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – With concerns about rising costs, three city councillors are banding together to call for a shortened Green Line LRT.

Councillors Jeff Davison, Ward Sutherland and Diane Colley-Urquhart are joining forces to try and limit the line to only southeast Calgary.

On his Facebook page, Davison writes that the costs for the project are too high and taxpayers will also be on the hook for operation and maintenance costs.

“Calgary taxpayers can’t afford the current risky alignment,” said Davison in his post.

The three councillors said with debt costs factored in, the actual cost of the Green Line will actually be about $5.5 billion.

Council has seen rising costs from the line, with the first portion proposed to go from southeast Calgary to 16 Ave. and be completed by 2026.

There would then be a second portion going up to north Calgary.

The councillors are proposing that only the southeast leg of the line is built up to the downtown core, instead of crossing the Bow River and eventually building it up to the north.

They said this is a lower-risk, higher-value option.

“This is now the fourth major cost escalation, and we still haven’t built a single kilometre of track. At a time when Calgary families and businesses and suffering, it would be reckless to move ahead with the current alignment. It’s time to recognize reality and change the plan”, added Sutherland in a press release.

Supporters of the line say it is a worthy investment and something that is needed to better connect the sprawling city.

According to some critics, the issues with the rising costs first came to light three years ago and the three councillors pushing for the shortened line approved those extra costs back then.

Council is expected to debate on the final proposed alignment for the first stage of the project on June 15, where the councillors will also be bringing these concerns forward.