A hora 'e agora para comecar a construcao da terceira linha de Ctrain de Calgary diz o editorial do Herold!! O LRT On The Green vai de Evanston a Auburn Bay, passando por downtown. Essas duas regioes (Norte e SE) reune a maioria dos novos bairros da cidade.
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One would be naive to think that the $1.53 billion that Ottawa has suddenly conjured up from the federal Public Transit Fund to build the CTrain’s Green Line is not an exercise in vote-buying. It’s so obviously transparent. But that really doesn’t matter. What matters is that Calgary absolutely needs to build the Green Line, and hopefully, the provincial NDP, the greenest party ever to reign over Alberta, will pony up funding as well for the $4.6 billion project.
It’s interesting that the opposition parties are united in their approval. But then, it’s hard to find a downside to the project. Now, the city just needs to figure out how to contribute its one-third share to the Green Line. It is frustrating to hear the naysayers inveigh against borrowing to fund the project. Interest rates are relatively low for borrowing money, but the bottom line really is that Calgary needs the Green Line. The city is growing and its infrastructure must keep up; if the pace of new public transit growth isn’t maintained now, the city will have to play catch-up later at a much greater cost.
Yes, the province’s debt stands at $11.9 billion for the 2014-2015 fiscal year, but it is unrealistic to expect, as Wildrose finance critic Derek Fildebrandt does, that the money should come from existing revenues. The province has vowed to finish the southwest ring road at a likely cost of $5 billion, as well as build the crucially important $1.3 billion cancer centre in Calgary. Plus, the LRT project would be a great economic stimulus in this time of downturn, providing jobs for what Mayor Naheed Nenshi estimates could be 23,000 people.
There are two things to remember about this project. The first is that it is desperately needed. It would take thousands of cars off the road daily, contributing to markedly less congestion and thus reducing the city’s carbon footprint. The southeast quadrant of the city is burgeoning and the Green Line would be packed from Day 1 with commuters sick of doing the twice-daily Deerfoot crawl during rush hour.
The second thing to remember is that there will never be an opportune time to build the Green Line. Even if borrowing were to be treated as some sort of bugaboo that should delay the project, down the road it is highly likely some of the money would still have to be borrowed. Anyone waiting for the perfect fiscal circumstances will wait forever. Plus, construction costs will have risen in the interim, and population growth will have choked the roads that much more.
There is no time like the present to get this project on track. Let’s green-light the Green Line.