Looking back on it now, Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi calls the now-cancelled North-South extension "visionary".
I have to tell you that I wish that original plan [of a North-South extension], which was agreed on by City Council, would have been going on right now because, if all the timelines would have been followed, we would have the trains running by spring of '09. And sitting in summer '08, with the gas price as it is, think about that. That would have been quite visionary at this time.In late 2006, Council voted to go forward with the plan, but without service through downtown; the rail lines were to stop at LeBreton Flats. Both federal and provincial governments withdrew their funding--at least temporarily--in the face of this amendment, pending further review. Council then had to choose between three options:
- The original plan, extending through downtown, with an estimated price tag of almost $800M, half of which would be covered by provincial and federal governments.
- The amended plan, extending from Limebank to LeBreton Flat, at the risk of federal and provincial governments withdrawing financial support.
- Neither plan, and a decision to go back to the drawing board, at the risk of between $250-300M in lawsuits from Siemens.
Despite the cancellation of the project, Naqvi made sure to re-affirm his commitment to a "good, solid plan" for public transit in Ottawa.
Unfortunately, again, politics came in the way, and no point in pointing fingers. The point being that provincial government has been there, and they're not the ones dragging their feet. And we will be there when there is a good, solid plan in place.I'm sure all his constituents, and the rest of the citizens of Ottawa, are hoping that the province is right there with Council when a proactive plan is finally put forward.
Wikipedia.org, "3: Beyond the Pilot: Extension and Electrification", Ottawa O-Train, accessed: July 14, 2008. Available here.
CBC.ca, "Ottawa council kills light rail project". Accessed: July 14, 2008. Available here.
Part Three of Yasir Naqvi on Public Transit in Ottawa, a TransitOttawa.ca exclusive:
Part One: Introduction
Part Two: Effective Public Transit
Part Three: Provincial Funding
Part Four: The Cancelled North-South Line
Part Five: Subway is "a good idea"
Part Six: Rail on the Ottawa River Parkway
Part Seven: Bi-Provincial Partnerships