Friday, September 3, 2010

What Does $600 Million of Provincial Transit Funds Get You?

The City of Ottawa just received confirmation that the Province will kick in $600 million to fund the city's light rail transit exansion. What will they get out of that? A Twelve kilometer extension. Yes, that's right. For the price of 1000 state of the art hybrid buses, they get a measly 12 kilometers added to the light rail line. Sorry. I lied. They don't even come close to getting it for $600 million. The total price tag is $2.1 billion, and that is before the inevitable cost overruns. In other words, for the price of tripling the number of buses in the OC Transpo's fleet, they're getting a glorified monorail extension.


  1. I weep for my once great country. :'(

  2. I agree that the price tag is ridiculous for this project. However, since the mayor is allegedly a conservative, let me try to justify this expenditure. This project will allow the city to destroy union power. The OC Transpo union held the city hostage during the strike to increase their already massively inflated salaries and benefits (over 100k/yr is pretty common). The indirect effect of this was to greatly increase operating costs from salaries. Since the Transitway runs busses constantly replacing the core of the transitway with lightrail will allow the city to layoff the overpaid bus drivers and replace them with 2 drivers for an entire train or better yet no drivers at all. Taken over 30 years the savings from not paying overpaid bus drivers and the benefit of not being hostage to a hostile union, this project begins to make sense.