Green Line LRT | ?m | ?s | Calgary Transit

JonnyCanuck

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When all the dust settles and there is a reckoning of additional monies spent as a result of COVID, lost revenues as a result of COVID & our perpetual O&G issues; I would not be surprised if this project was

1. Cancelled or postponed indefinitely
2. Significantly changed in scope or reduced budget

As much as the city needs, it is also looking more and more unaffordable.
 

darwink

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Nah. The solution to not enough money circulating in an economy isn't to pull back even more monies. Economic crisis show even more how governments are not households - households can't borrow money on 100 year terms, print money, make money by spending money, etc.

Now, will we see the money coming from the same places -- that is the question. The federal government may take on a greater leadership role than we have seen in Canada on spending at the provincial and municipal level in ever.
 

MichaelS

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While infrastructure spending needs to occur, spending on a project that will create a further $40 million operating loss may need to be looked at. With the decimation to the commercial real estate market this will likely cause (huge spike in vacancies), I can't imagine the City's operating budget will be in good shape. Look at what is happening in Vancouver:

Further burdening what will be an even more strained operating budget than today seems like a foolish choice. Might make more sense to spend the same amount of money to hire people to dig a ditch and then fill it back in, that way there is not an ongoing $40 million liability.
 

Social Justice

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Yeah, I hate to admit it, but I think JonnyCanuck is right.

It's a shame. The project should have been started in 2018. The UCP wouldn't be able to pull the plug...or if they did, I'd like to think it would come with severe political ramifications. I kind of blame city council too. They never seemed to have a clear scope.
 

accord1999

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I kind of blame city council too. They never seemed to have a clear scope.
I think the scope was clear, replace the overcrowded buses of the NC with cheaper operating trains and expand transit service into the deep SE. The problem was that the councilors got giddy when they thought it would only cost $4.5-$5B and forgot to keep tabs on the Green Line as it rapidly ballooned in cost over 2016-2017.
 

Social Justice

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I think the scope was clear, replace the overcrowded buses of the NC with cheaper operating trains and expand transit service into the deep SE. The problem was that the councilors got giddy when they thought it would only cost $4.5-$5B and forgot to keep tabs on the Green Line as it rapidly ballooned in cost over 2016-2017.
The city changed the route alignment from 12th ave to 11th ave, they scrapped the trenched station at 16th ave and they still haven't figured out how to cross Bow River. All these changes came very late in the game.
 

The Familia

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Personally I would scrap the entire north section for now. I say start the Green line with a subway station on 7th Ave downtown (as proposed) and build the line to the South health Campus/Seton as proposed. This line is considerably cheaper than the north section and it would hit it's maximum potential right away. Quality over quantity. Why half ass two lines when we can do one line really well! The south in underserved in my opinion (I'm a naorth guy living in Evanston). Let's build the south east line and come back and revisit the North at a later date. It will give them time to plan a better route and secure proper funding at that time.
 
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JonnyCanuck

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Personally I would scrap the entire north section for now. I say start the Green line with a subway station on 7th Ave downtown (as proposed) and build the line to the South health Campus/Seton as proposed. This line is considerably cheaper than the north section and it would hit it's maximum potential right away. Quality over quantity. Why half ass two lines when we can do one line really well! The south in underserved in my opinion (I'm a naorth guy living in Evanston). Let's build the south west line and come back and revisit the North at a later date. It will give them time to plan a better route and secure proper funding at that time.
I like that idea. There has already been a lot of work done and in progress, on the south leg. As far as I know, nothing on the north leg yet.
 

accord1999

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The city changed the route alignment from 12th ave to 11th ave, they scrapped the trenched station at 16th ave and they still haven't figured out how to cross Bow River. All these changes came very late in the game.
I would consider these changes not a change in scope so much as the consequences of the failure of the planners to accurately estimate costs.
 

darwink

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I would consider these changes not a change in scope so much as the consequences of the failure of the planners to accurately estimate costs.
I would say it is one thing: you cost an el-cheapo line that no one would like - slow, takes lots of traffic capacity away and provide very high level estimates of the cost. Every cost change except for what would always have turned out to be much more difficult tunnel at 8th Ave and 2nd Street is the result of scope changes.
 

UrbanWarrior

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Personally I would scrap the entire north section for now. I say start the Green line with a subway station on 7th Ave downtown (as proposed) and build the line to the South health Campus/Seton as proposed. This line is considerably cheaper than the north section and it would hit it's maximum potential right away. Quality over quantity. Why half ass two lines when we can do one line really well! The south in underserved in my opinion (I'm a naorth guy living in Evanston). Let's build the south east line and come back and revisit the North at a later date. It will give them time to plan a better route and secure proper funding at that time.
I would be all for this. I don't want the north to be a hodgepodge of bullshit. Crossing 16th at-grade is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard, so we should just stop it downtown and make it useful. The great thing is that at Sheppard, shortly after the proposed terminus is where the ROW for the Green Line that has been reserved for decades actually begins.
 

Joborule

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Personally I would scrap the entire north section for now. I say start the Green line with a subway station on 7th Ave downtown (as proposed) and build the line to the South health Campus/Seton as proposed. This line is considerably cheaper than the north section and it would hit it's maximum potential right away. Quality over quantity. Why half ass two lines when we can do one line really well! The south in underserved in my opinion (I'm a naorth guy living in Evanston). Let's build the south east line and come back and revisit the North at a later date. It will give them time to plan a better route and secure proper funding at that time.
The one drawback in doing this, is that it makes it even more of a political battle, and requires much more financial will to convince the public to put in money into the north extension, since the part from the river to 16th itself (especially if it's underground as intended originally) will be extremely expensive. This will make the extension to the north, which is needed since yesterday, take even longer to get done.

At least with getting to 16th ave off the get go, the hard part of the north is already dealt with. At that point the extensions hurdles is just getting ROWs for some small segments, which should be that challenging. This way, the LRT should get into the upper regions of the north sooner as a result.

But I do get your point, and don't completely disagree. I could go either way on if they just do all of SE in one go (or close to at least), or proceed with the current plan. If they do go with the current plan though, I would hope there would be a lot of work during phase I construction to get plans solidified, and funding for the northern extension to be done as phase II, and get it going very shortly after phase I completes.
 

Social Justice

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The one drawback in doing this, is that it makes it even more of a political battle, and requires much more financial will to convince the public to put in money into the north extension, since the part from the river to 16th itself (especially if it's underground as intended originally) will be extremely expensive. This will make the extension to the north, which is needed since yesterday, take even longer to get done.

At least with getting to 16th ave off the get go, the hard part of the north is already dealt with. At that point the extensions hurdles is just getting ROWs for some small segments, which should be that challenging. This way, the LRT should get into the upper regions of the north sooner as a result.

But I do get your point, and don't completely disagree. I could go either way on if they just do all of SE in one go (or close to at least), or proceed with the current plan. If they do go with the current plan though, I would hope there would be a lot of work during phase I construction to get plans solidified, and funding for the northern extension to be done as phase II, and get it going very shortly after phase I completes.
I agree with your points. The NC LRT will unfortunately be delayed if the Green Line's northern terminus is Eau Claire. However, there's a limited amount of funds available. It's better to build the LRT properly and not cut corners. Sometimes you have to cut off the finger to save the hand.
 

outoftheice

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Curious what people would define as 'building it properly'? Based on the information shared by the City of Calgary it is no longer technically feasible to build a tunnel under the river as the cut and cover method required through the downtown core means the Eau Claire station won't be built at a sufficient depth to permit tunneling under the river. So regardless of whether or not the northern segment to 16th is built now or 20 years from now we are going to be stuck with a bridge.

The Council approved plan originally had the line surfacing at 21st Ave N and there's been no talk of that ever really changing. So knowing those two constraints (a bridge is required over the Bow River and the train will run on the surface starting at 21st Ave N) what does everyone's ideal Green Line plan look like for the missing middle and what aspects of that plan makes it worth the delay by not building to 16th Ave now using the City of Calgary's latest proposal?
 

UrbanWarrior

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The bridge should punch into the bluffs, not make a ridiculously awkward serpentine curve on to one of the busiest bridges in the province. Once the line punches into the bluffs it will stop between 15 and 16 Avenue N, and then surface at 21 Avenue.
 

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