Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2010 Election: Bello on LRT affordability

Over the course of the 2010 Mayoral Election campaign, Public Transit in Ottawa will be sitting down with as many mayoral candidates as are available, discussing their platforms and thoughts on transit in this city, and what they hope to achieve during their mandate, if elected mayor.

Ottawa mayoral candidate César Bello wants public transit improvements in Ottawa. As a social justice advocate, he's in favour of increased accessibility. But he's concerned with the cost of the current transit plan, including the underground tunnel--or, more accurately, concerned with the uncertainty around cost.
There is not an exact amount. We don’t know how much [the project will cost to finish]. If there is some increase, at some point in the future, about this, we will have no choice but to increase the property taxes [...] to me, it’s important to be prudent at this moment.
Although concerned, Bello didn't mention any ideas on how to get around cost uncertainty when in the planning stage of different transit projects. And he didn't have any particular ideas on an alternative, but he said that city council had to be "creative" in order to make a more affordable plan.
We have to look at efficiency, of course, but a tunnel is too much. It costs too much, and it’s painful for the residents for owing money for many years. So we have to find another way, more affordable, more realistic, and of course more articulated for the service to the residents.

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