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Old 05-14-2017, 09:53 PM   #47
Scoring Winger
Join Date: Aug 2010

Originally Posted by frinkprof View Post
If Phase 1 goes ahead as recommended, what it does is makes for several (2, 3, or 4) nicely sized expansion projects to finish the line to North Pointe. They'd be a few hundred million apiece, take 2-3 years each, and each hit sweet spots geographically (McKnight, Beddington and North Pointe, for example) that add value/payoff.

At that scale, it is much easier to find and get inventive with funding. It's also easier to make the case politically, say in the next election cycle, for mayoral or councilor candidates.
But the problem here is that the NC line doesn't really become functional until a few expansion projects goes through, and where it'll be competing against expansion of existing lines where the marginal value would be higher. I'd expect Shepard to Seton to win out over 16th to 40th or McKnight.

Also, after the line reaches Shepard in the southeast and 16th Avenue in the north, I think people will treat it like two separate lines and that extensions won't compete with each other as much and may happen concurrently, just like when the northwest and south ends of the red line were extended concurrently in the early 2000s.
But then difference there is the Red Line has two functional legs, while for the Green Line, after Phase 1 there is a SE leg that is almost functional and a NC leg that is essentially non-existing.

As a political exercise, it was important to marry the two sides of the Green Line together so that the central section could be done right and also wouldn't be the expensive hurdle associated with either side of the line, blocking either from getting done. It was also important to flesh out the concept of the north central line going up Centre Street instead of Nose Creek.
Looking back, it seems the biggest benefit was that by using the ridership of the NC, it helped cement the SE LRT well before it could have if it was only a stand-alone project. It seems NC LRT supporters really screwed themselves by not supporting a NC only line.

For the north central line, I think strong Ward 4 and Ward 3 councilors/candidates will make the difference as to when it gets fully built out. That it even got to this stage (building out the tunnel section to 16th Avenue) is a miracle and a big win
I doubt anybody in the NC sees that puny amount of construction north of the riveras a big win, and frankly I think the planners only put it there as a bone for the NC, and fully expect it to be the first things that get canceled if (and more likely when) the SE LRT goes over-budget.

Not sure about that taxpayer appetite thing. Transit projects have had widespread support among Calgarians for decades. The NDP has been pretty wishy washy on the funding of this project (I think it's partly a timing thing, they want to fund it heading into 2019), but the federal Liberals have shown clear signals and willingness to increase the funding package to cities for transit infrastructure.
But there's never been a project this expensive and challenging, and a new LRT project has never been undertaken so quickly after the last. Look how long has it's taken to assemble the funds to build a new line after the West LRT and that was a much smaller project. And if there are years of continued reports of overruns and need for extra money, than the appetite would definitely shrink. Look at what's happening at Honolulu Rail Transit, whose rapidly increasing budget and increasingly hostile Federal Government may mean it gets cancelled while already under construction. And even the local inhabitants are getting frustrated, where the most recent poll has about as many people are against it as for it. Even if they do complete it, Honolulu is not going to get money for another large rail project for a generation because no one is going to trust it with money.

Last edited by accord1999; 05-15-2017 at 01:34 AM.
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