Edmonton Transit System LRT

CANADA: The Alberta provincial government on June 22 made good on a long-standing promise and awarded Calgary and Edmonton C$800m each in transport funding. The money, part of Alberta’s C$2bn ‘Green Trip’ programme, will not come all at once. According to Transport Minister Luke Ouellette, it will be ‘pay-on-progress’.

The province’s contribution will cover only a third of any new project; local communities will have to raise the remainder although federal grants may be sought as well. In Calgary, part of the money will finance 15 new light rail vehicles and 100 articulated buses, advance work on the planned southeast LRT line and, in the longer term, commuter rail to outlying communities.

Edmonton plans to use part of its funding to complete financing of the C$725m north light rail extension from the city centre to the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and to purchase 10 new LRVs for delivery by 2013. A C$20·9m contract for programme management and design services for the 3·1 km, C$815m project has already been awarded to Aecom Technology Corp and completion is scheduled for 2014.

Additional LRT expansion plans that will be given a boost include new lines to Lewis Estates and Mill Woods, which will cost about C$2·3bn and are dependent on a substantial federal contribution. The Edmonton city council has approved the routes of two further extensions, one to the northwest and the other linking the west and southeast lines via the city centre.