Thursday, September 4, 2008

NDP would give a lot to public transit: Layton

In his ongoing campaign to announce (seemingly) thousands of "pledges" of millions of dollars to various public transit funds (see: Regina, Montreal (and Montreal again), Toronto, Guelph, Vancouver, Hamilton, and probably more press releases that I haven't seen), NDP federal leader Jack Layton threw Ottawa in the mix recently, too.

According to the NDP press release:

“For Ottawa alone, our plan to dedicate one cent per litre of the federal gas tax to transit would mean $73.6 million over four years,” said Layton. “And Ottawa’s share of the transit revenue from our cap-and-trade plan would mean an additional $64.3 million over four years.”

This is new money that can be used for various local transit priorities – this could mean things like new vehicles, improved security or lower fares. For example, the NDP investment of $137.9 million over four years is the equivalent of purchasing as many as 324 new buses for Ottawa.

Although Ottawa's not really in the market for 324 new buses (the plans are moving towards light-rail more than rapid buses), federal funding is always welcome for public transit. An article about the pledge appeared in the Ottawa Sun on Sept. 3, but didn't really add much to the story.


Anonymous said...

Moving towards light rail? Really? The supposed light rail plan - aka Option #4 - calls for $320M in new bus expenditures (i.e. fleet growth) and $160M to start replacing some of that growth to 2031 (since buses don't last 20+ years). That doesn't even include replacement of the existing bus fleet over the same period. Speaking of which, this year OC Transpo is disposing of 186 buses and acquiring 54 artics and 3 double deckers, with more standard buses to come next year along with a few hybrids. Meanwhile, work is to start on the Southwest Transitway in Barrhaven late this year or early next and environmental assessments and design studies are underway or are to start for the Bayshore-Moodie section and the Queensway-Pinecrest section of the West Transitway and for an extension of the Southwest Transitway from Baseline to Norice.

It seems to me that Jack Layton knows Ottawa's transit strategy all too well.

Peter Raaymakers said...

Thanks for keeping us posted on some of the plans and projects. I should have written that Ottawa's plans appear to be prioritizing light rail over rapid bus transit, although RBT will certainly have a large part of our transit system for a long time to come. Thanks again, and comment anytime.