Monday, March 30, 2009

STO expected to get extra transit funding from Quebec

The current rapid transit system in the works for Gatineau's Société de Transport de l’Outaouais (STO) has run roughly $38.5M ovre budget, but the Province of Quebec is expected to help cover the overage. The City of Gatineau and the federal government are also able to help out if need be. According to the Ottawa Citizen:

The Société de Transport de l’Outaouais revealed two weeks ago that between changes to the plans, inflation and rising construction costs, the originally projected $195-million Rapibus cross-city bus freeway would actually cost $233.5 million.

Quebec Transportation Minister Norman MacMillan is in discussions with STO to secure the extra Rapibus funding, said a department spokesman. MacMillan is also MNA for Papineau, a riding in the Outaouais.

“There shouldn’t be any problems with the additional amount,” said Stéphane Lauzon, adding he couldn’t confirm anything while they were still in talks.

It almost sounds like all three levels of government are clamouring to help the other city in the National Capital Region get their rapid bus transit system in place. Ottawa's got to figure out how to get that kind of arrangement... or at least get themselves organized to take advantage of public works money before it's dried up.

The Rapibus, which is essentially Gatineau's version of Ottawa's Transitway, was originally slated for completion in 2010 but has been delayed until 2011.

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