December 5, 2012

Ottawa taps consortium for light rail project

Mayor Jim Watson, together with Premier Dalton McGuinty and Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa—Orléans, were on hand for the announcement that City of Ottawa staff will be recommending to council that the international consortium known as the Rideau Transit Group be awarded the contract to design, build, finance and maintain the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (OLRT) project, which includes the building and financing of the Highway 417 widening project.

“Today is an exciting milestone for this important project,” said Premier McGuinty. “It will create jobs, help the environment by taking cars off the road and contribute to a better quality of life for the people of Ottawa.”

Rideau Transit Group’s proposal outlines a construction schedule that will see project construction substantially complete by the end of 2017 and in service by 2018. Moreover, the Rideau Transit Group has agreed to a fixed price contract of $2.1 billion, meaning the City and Ottawa taxpayers will not be financially responsible for cost overruns related to construction.

Funding for the Confederation Line is being provided by the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The Government of Canada is contributing $600 million through the Building Canada Fund. The City will also allocate up to $192 million of its federal Gas Tax Fund transfers to this project. The Government of Ontario is contributing $600 million.

In addition, the City will allocate $287 million of Provincial Gas Tax receipts to the capital infrastructure. The remaining project budget funds will come from development charge revenues and transit reserves.

The staff recommendation will be reviewed by the Committee of the Whole on December 12 and then by Council on December 19.

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