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AUDIO: GrandLinq recommended group for LRT project

"What Light Rail Transit Could Look Like in Waterloo Region" - From Region of Waterloo Website

It looks like the ION will be coming in on-time and on-budget.

The number that we have been hearing over the last three years is $818 million, that is the final capital cost for the LRT.

All three levels of government have announced funding commitments for the project , including $300 million from the province, one-third of the eligible costs up to $265 million from the federal government and $253 million from the Region.

The operating and maintenance  costs of keeping the LRT up and running is $30 million per year over the next 30 years. Regional staff say that will will be paid through a 1.2 per cent tax increase and transit fare revenue.

The funding strategy was approved by Regional Council in 2011 and Councillor Tom Galloway says this a huge milestone for the project.

” Whether or not we are in favour of the project, at least we now have price certainty, it’s within our affordability range and we have that price certainty for 30 years.”

Out of the three finalists, GrandLinq is the group regional staff recommended to take on the project and if approved, will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the ION.

Regional Chair Ken Seiling believes council will show confidence in the consortium when they can see the report on March 4th.

“We all know the importance of this project, we also know the importance of sticking to our financial projections and financial budgeting. This is a high level proposal from a high quality group…and they are doing it in the within the budget we set forth.”

Pending Council’s approval, the final Project Agreement with GrandLinq will be completed by the end of April and construction will begin shortly thereafter.

Listen to LRT reaction from the Gary Doyle Show here.