Suspend LRT Construction, Readers Say



The voting on The Bulldog Poll concerning suspending light-rail construction was close all day Thursday.

However a late spurt by the Yes faction pushed the poll toward halting construction due to safety concerns.

To read The Bulldog post on the question, click here.

The tale of the tape is below:



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13 thoughts on “Suspend LRT Construction, Readers Say

  1. Maybe you should re-run that poll after every “incident” on the LRT and see how it shifts.
    It’s possible some people didn’t get to vote because they were still catching their breath after being evacuated for the gas leak or were just getting in from the traffic snarls. I’d put them as strong probables for the “Yes” column.

  2. There are accidents on most major construction projects. My concern is that this whole project should never have started. Seems like a huge waste of money and resources and everything could have been done cheaper with surface transport.

    1. Robert:

      If you mean light rail on the surface, I agree completely.

      What happens if over time the city has to put a new station or two along the tunnel downtown? Big money.

      Surface route? You put up a shelter and a bench.



      1. You mean like the Elgin Station that Watson was so adamantly opposed to and the station they’ll need between Campus and Rideau?

    2. Was always against the LRT. Ottawa decided decades ago to go with a bus system which worked well. A designated street for ‘buses only’ through the downtown would have solved the rush-hour traffic jams. This is a total mess which never seems to get better.

      1. Fed-Up:

        The problem with buses is on the operating side of the budget.

        They have lots of time in the shop, high labour costs, replacements such as tires … trains are much less expensive. Unless you over-pay by more than twice the amount.



        1. Ken,
          “Trains are much less expensive” is a debate that even the experts or number crunchers can’t agree on.

          If you are interested you will find tech sites that debate BRT versus LRT. With this issue there are good solid arguments that support BRT. Then there are new advances in battery tech and driverless tech that may overwhelmingly swing the issue over to BRT.

          Get out Google and you might find it isn’t that clear cut. You might even walk away seeing that LRT in some cases might be slightly less expensive but not much less expensive. Some BRT studies show that because buses are more easily adaptable to the change in demand, they are the way to go. They only run when the demand requires them.

          Just to wet your appetite try and there are others.

          Sometimes the only reason a city gets into LRT is financing. Just like Ottawa — they get sucked into long-term contracts financed by the builder of the system.

          1. Chaz:

            At present from the operating side, light rail is much cheaper because they carry huge numbers of people with one employee.

            The question is: do the up-front costs make light rail more expensive than bus. But remember that Transitway roads and stations aren’t cheap either.



        2. Ken,
          The benefit to buses is they aren’t bound to a fixed route and can be diverted to other places to meet demand. One problem with the LRT is that it had no logical, comprehensive planning, including ridership studies, which is resulting in a route that’s too expensive and won’t provide service to most of the population.
          I saw the presentations by the light and heavy rail companies many years ago when we were just heading into this process and the product that is being served up is very different from the things that were put forward and recommended then. It should have been a surface system and been routed over Mac Bridge instead of looping over to Rideau Street.
          A lot of politics got between good planning and what’s being delivered.

          1. To the Voter,
            I am unsure how you have the audacity to mention politics and good planning in the same sentence.

            You could have used an oxymoron such as :
            – political planners
            -bureaucratic efficiency
            -government intelligence

            Chaz :)

            1. We’re so far removed from “good planning” here these days that I’m not even sure I remember what it is any more. I think I’d still recognize it if I saw it. There may even be some old planning documents kicking around that mention things like ‘resident involvement’ and ‘value for money’ and terms like that. They’re pretty dusty though.

  3. You can’t suspend construction on LRT now. That could prevent the project from being on-time and on-budget.


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