Five things you need to know about the City’s flawed plan:
1. Their numbers keep changing.
- In 2017 they said it would cost $4.65 billion to build the entire 46 km project.
- In 2019 they said $4.65 billion only gets you 20 km. That's less than half a line.
- In early 2020 they changed their numbers again, increasing the cost to $4.9 billion.
2. The total cost will be billions more than advertised.
To improve service levels, they will have to build the full 46 km line. They are betting they can come up with billions more to extend the line far enough north and south to actually improve service and attract enough riders.
3. Much of the money won’t be spent in Calgary.
Some are saying this will stimulate the economy. What they fail to tell you is that much of the money will leave Calgary, to large multinational engineering, management and construction companies and a rail car supplier. It will stimulate the economy all right. Just not ours.
4. It'll cost $4.9 billion to build the line. It'll cost another $40 million a year to operate it.
Once the $4.9 billion is spent, the line will add at least $40 million each and every year to the City’s operating costs. That’s the equivalent of 265 police officers or 300 firefighters. It’s a lot of money.
5. The City is broke. Council has no idea where the money will come from.
Mayor Nenshi recently estimated a six-month $400-500 million revenue decline caused by the current economic collapse. If the economy doesn’t recover right away, the city is on track to lose hundreds of millions this year.
There are ways to do it right. Every option should be back on the table.
The Green Line can be built at a lower cost and with less risk. If we do it right it can be an important part of our city's future.
On April 30, 2020 we sent our sensible alternative to Council. Here is our written submission and a map illustrating our ideas and concerns.
Our alternative aims to produce more local jobs sooner and shorten the construction schedule.