Mayor Jim Watson revealed plans for the future of public transportation in Ottawa on Wednesday morning, including a major light rail extension servicing the outer reaches of the city.
The full report will be tabled Wednesday afternoon at a special 3 p.m. meeting between the joint transportation committee and transportation commission.
The highlight of the presentation was the city’s preliminary plans for LRT expansion, which will begin after the $2.1 billion Confederation line is completed in 2018.
Construction will add 35 kilometers of rail and 19 new stations, Watson said. It is currently budgeted at less than $2.5 billion and will bring LRT further south, east, and west.
The new plan will extend LRT to Bayshore station in the west, Bowesville to the south, and Place d’Orleans to the west. In Centretown, an additional station is expected named Gladstone, between Bayview and Carling stations.
The project will reduce commuter traffic downtown while also providing a more environmentally friendly transportation option, says Somerset Ward Coun. Diane Holmes.
Watson said the budgeting for transit improvements comes within the 2.5 per cent tax cap implemented by council and fare increases will be at the rate of inflation.
“We have built in the flexibility to match service with increased ridership and are assuming the highest cost scenario,” said Watson.
This project will be a single LRT project and should be running by 2031, Watson said. He says with federal and provincial money, which have not been promised, it could be completed by 2023.