The Cost of Ottawa’s Light Rail Plan What it Means for Rural Residents

The Cost of Ottawa’s Light Rail Plan What it Means for Rural Residents
Posted on March 14, 2019 | David Brown | Written on March 14, 2019
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

As a rural Ottawa taxpayer, I am frustrated with the lack of funding for core services and the perpetual focus on urban Ottawa.

What does LRT mean for rural taxpayers?

The vast majority of rural residents will not take public transit to work. The system is just not reliable enough for many or would take longer than driving.

Despite this fact, Ottawa is spending a record amount of money on both stages of LRT. The Provincial and Federal Government’s are funding the majority of spending; the balance of the funding is coming from cash payments and debt.

Over the next thirty years, Ottawa’s INTEREST payments for both stages of LRT will exceed $1 billion dollars. This is in addition to the $2.1 billion and the $4.65 billion for Stages 1 & 2 respectively.

The TOTAL COST - at least $7.5 billion over 30 years.

That is enough money to fund the Roads Department in its entirety for the next six decades.

It is enough money to resurface all of Ottawa’s roads three times over. (2019 dollars)

The interest payments alone would cover the cost of bi-weekly garbage pick up for twelve years! (2019 dollars)

These are the core services that RURAL residents depend on regularly, that we pay more and more for every year with no corresponding increase to the level of service.

But what did our rural councillors vote for? – LRT! Why do they not prioritize spending on the few core services rural Ottawa depends upon, outside of what the Mayor’s Office deems acceptable?

Most residents are not against new infrastructure spending, but priority must focus on repairing existing assets before committing ourselves to build new ones.

The reality- rural residents, will continue to pay higher taxes and fees and get less service for it. All so urban Ottawa might one day be able to ride on LRT and Ottawa might be considered a ‘World-class’ city.

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