South-enders angered by Ottawa's new transit plan
Published Friday, March 7, 2008 2:25PM EST
Ottawa city planners got an earful Thursday night from south-end residents who are unimpressed with four new options for mass transit.
Each of the multi-billion dollar transit proposals the city has presented includes building a downtown tunnel and light rail in various forms.
The proposals also include expanded bus transitways to the east, west and southern corners of the city.
But some suburban residents and councillors say that's not good enough.
- Plan 1: Bus tunnel (lowest cost)
- Plan 2: Joint LRT and bus tunnel (highest capital cost)
- Plan 3: LRT downtown tunnel (second lowest capital cost)
- Plan 4: LRT downtown tunnel and North-South LRT (lowest annual operating cost)
Coun. Jan Harder, who represents Barrhaven, says the options contain "absolutely nothing" for her area.
Harder says light rail could be extended to south Nepean for $25 million dollars, a price tag she calls relative "chump change."
Nancy Schepers, Ottawa's deputy city manager in charge of planning, says "anything is possible with money, but we need to start from the core out."
Harder says she's working with the mayor's office to modify the options.
Coun. Steve Desroches says "people want us to do it right the first time."
He says that means the city needs to serve its fast-growing suburbs with light rail rather than converting a bus transitway later.
"If we don't invest in transit, we're going to have to build another Queensway to the south," Desroches told CTV News.
Residents can have their say on the transit options - or suggest others - by calling 311 or visiting the City of Ottawa's website by March 31.
City planners say they'll announce the preferred transit option April 16. Councillors will decide how to move forward in May.
With a report from CTV's Chris Day