Stage 1 of the Green Line is big step forward, but undeniably it falls short of the expectations that many of us had. We heard frustration from Members of Council, we heard frustration from colleagues in other orders of government and most importantly we heard frustration from Calgarians.
I pride myself on being a problem solver. While it is important that we give consideration to the decisions we have made as a Council, we also need to find a way to move forward. The way I see it Council had four options to consider when it came to Stage 1 of the Green Line:
- We pull the plug on the project. It costs too much; it doesn’t get to where we want it to go. Communities in north central and southeast Calgary will just need to accept that it isn’t financially feasible to get LRT to them.
- We begin working on identifying the scope and cost of future stages of the project while also identifying possible funding streams to extend the line.
- We put our faith in the project team to find further efficiency through the contract and procurement process that could provide greater value with the Stage 1 funding envelope.
- A combination of options 2 and 3.
Complaining about the short comings of Stage 1 just isn’t good enough – we need to decide what we do next
During Strategic Council in May I picked up on something that the Green Line team said. They pointed to the possibility of finding efficiency through the procurement process that could possibly lead to an expansion of scope on Stage 1. While we need to do a better job of managing Calgarians expectations with this project, I think it’s also important that we be ambitious and push forward. Providing the Green Line team with Council support for a contracting and procurement strategy is not only helpful for the team but also sends a clear message to Calgarians.
You can see a copy of my Notice of Motion here – NM – Expanding value for Green Line Stage 1 through procurement and readiness
I want to be clear – this Motion is not about cutting corners or breaking down what was originally agreed for Stage 1. This Motion is about finding ways to maximize the value we will get from our expected Stage 1 funding envelope. I want us to collectively find ways to build more of the line, not less of the line. Council can dwell on the shortcomings of Green Line Stage 1 or Council can be the problem solvers we were elected to be and find a way to move forward. I hope Council will support this Motion next week.
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