Ottawa residents’ views on LRT plan veer in different directions

Richard Eade took time deliberating each station along the Confederation line after LRT plans were unveiled at City Hall Wednesday morning.

“Overall, I’m pleased it’s moving ahead,” said Eade, a west-end resident.

He said he has been using transit for more than 50 years.

Rideau Transit Group, led by ACS Infrastructure Canada, was named the preferred bidder for the $2.13-billion light rail transit project at City Hall Wednesday.

“I suppose it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference to me who builds it, as long as it’s a reasonable system,” said Eade.

Coming in under budget isn’t a major concern for Eade.

“I mean, this is a 100-year infrastructure project we’re building,” he said.

“Whether it’s $50 million over or $100 million, in the grand scheme of things, we’re paying for it for the next 30-some odd years.

“An extra $50,000 a year doesn’t make a whole lot of difference on the city’s budget.”

The light rail design showcase, set up in Jean Pigott Hall, drew criticism from David Gladstone of Centretown.

“It’s underwhelming, I think, is probably the word that comes to mind,” said Gladstone.

“I’d love to be more positive. I’m a big transit advocate, but where’s the gold here?”

The line runs from Tunney’s Pasture in the west to Blair Station in the east.

“I’m not seeing any connection with the airport on the map that I looked at,” said Gladstone.

“All it’s doing really, when you’re looking at it, is putting a rail line on part of what’s currently the Transitway. So exactly what do we get for $2.1 billion is a little bit fuzzy.”

Pointing at a mock-up of Campus station, “it looks remarkably like the current O-train station, except it has a (new) train going through it,” he said.

“I’m not looking at any great investment in interface with the (University of Ottawa) campus and I certainly am not looking at anything that shows a connection with Centretown, which is on the other side of the canal. No attempt to put a bridge — they still have the same tunnel that’s there right now.”

To view the plan in person, visit ottawalightrail.ca for a complete listing.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @ottawasunkroche

http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/12/05/ottawa-residents-views-on-lrt-plan-veer-in-different-directions

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