Underdeveloped and over-budget. Can you guess what it is? Claimed to be ”one of the biggest public transit infrastructure projects in, actually, North America” by Marc Logan, Calgary’s general manager of transportation, the Green Line LRT project is becoming a headache for anyone who chooses to listen.
Just a few short months ago, the City of Calgary announced changes for the Green Line LRT project. What were these changes you ask?
Money and Location
Originally budgeted for $4.5 billion, the city announced the budget had increased to $4.65 billion. Now $150 million may not seem like a lot when you think of the scale of the project, but the city also announced this increased budget would only cover less than half of stations originally proposed. A transportation system originally planned to stretch 46 kilometers from North Point to Seaton was scaled back to extend just 20 kilometers from 16th Ave N to Shepard. Mayor Nenshi explaining the massive discrepancy based off design choices including tunnel under Bow River. Remind you of anything? *Peace bridge* cough cough *giant blue ring* cough cough.
As it has been said, time is not on our side. A project this large is not only expensive, but will take many, many years of construction to complete. The reality is, just this initial phase of the Green Line project will take another 9 years to complete. Not so bad considering the project has been officially and unofficially in the works since the 1980s.
We watch and wait. The lesson here is nothing is ever set in stone and patience is very very much a virtue.