Help could be on the way. The 2015 federal budget saw the creation of a new fund that will help finance significant transit projects and upgrades in Canada’s major cities. Here are the details of the new fund:
- The fund does not start until 2017-2018
- The first two years the fund will be $750 million
- The funding will increase to $1 billion annually ongoing thereafter
- The assistance will be provided to finance public-private partnerships to pay for projects and upgrades with a combination of public and private investment
The Green Line LRT project is currently the largest and most important transit project for The City of Calgary. This project will nearly double Calgary’s LRT network and will service eight employment hubs and over 300,000 Calgarians that live along the transit corridor.
The only funding commitment to this project so far is $520 million over 10 years from the City of Calgary. This funding is a great start to this project, but only scratches the surface. Additional funding from the federal and provincial governments will play a critical role in ensuring the City of Calgary has LRT from Keystone down through to Seton.
The vision for the Green Line is to provide a transit service that improves mobility in existing and new communities in southeast and north central Calgary, connecting people and places, and enhancing quality of life in the City. This is a vision that I endorse and that I feel very strongly about. A better connected Calgary absolutely needs to be a priority for elected representatives at every order of government in this great city.
We are currently in the midst of a provincial campaign and there will be a federal election in the fall of 2015. It is critically important that Calgary is not forgotten in the approaching campaign and in the aftermath of these elections. Calgary has traditionally been dominated by single political parties in both provincial and federal politics.. It is critical that Calgarians remind their federal and provincial candidates that they are not to be taken for granted.
Even a modest contribution of $1 billion over 10 years from the federal government would nearly double Green Line funding. An election campaign is a time to tell your candidates how they can make your communities better. Talk to your prospective MPs and ask them to make Green Line funding a priority in their campaign platforms. Remind your MLAs after the provincial election that this is an issue that is important to you and important to the community. Let’s work together to make sure that Calgary gets a fair share.