Many growing cities approaching 1.5 million people introduce a regional rail service. Toronto introduced regional rail in 1967, with the Go Train system. The Ottawa-Gatineau Metropolitan Area has surpassed the 1.3 million mark, and it's time to get the city moving.
We will introduce regional rail, alongside Phase 2 of the light rail system, that connects Kanata, Barrhaven, Kanata North, Stittsville, Bells Corners, Richmond, Navan, Vars, Merivale, Kinburn, Fitzroy, Limoges, Smiths Falls and Gatineau.
We will run trains on rail lines that already exist in the National Capital Region, making this a cost-effective solution to get 20,000 cars off the 417, reduce our carbon footprint, open our city for business, and connect the four corners of the National Capital Region. This plan will integrate itself with our present OC Transpo system.
The key to delivering a new regional rail service is fixing the rail line near Bayview Station and reopening the Prince of Wales bridge.
These are keystone connections which must be repaired so that full service trains can travel between Ottawa and Gatineau.
Our Capital Region Rail system will be implemented in three phases over four years.
Phase 1: Restoring the Prince of Wales Bridge and Related Infrastructure
Renovating the Prince of Wales bridge and adding dedicated pedestrian and cyclist pathways. This phase will be completed in thirteen months: one month for the Request for Proposal Process (RFP), twelve months for the renovation and required construction to add a pedestrian and cyclist pathways.
Phase 2: Restoring Train Service to the Prince of Wales Bridge
Launch a three-month RFP process for the work required to revitalize the rail system in the region, and dedicate eighteen months for the necessary construction to restore train service on the Prince of Wales Bridge.
Phase 3: Getting Ottawa Moving
Getting the Capital Region Rail Service running from Kanata North, Bells Corners and Stittsville in the west, Barrhaven, Richmond and Smiths Falls in the South, Vars, Navan, and Limoges in the East, and Gatineau in the North. We expect the Capital Regional Rail to be fully operational by 2022.
40-50 million to repair the Prince of Wales bridge.
25 million to fix the rail line near Bayview station so that regional rail can go forwards.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will we pay for Capital Region Rail?
The full cost of the Capital Region Rail, and its business plan can only be determined following a Request for Proposal process (RFP). This will provide an opportunity for interested stakeholders to shape the project, and identify how much they are willing to invest in the Capital Region Rail. The final total cost can only be determined following this process. The cost to repair the Prince of Wales bridge is estimated at $ 40-50 million. We are also estimating the cost to fix the rail line near the Bayview station so that our Capital Region Rail plan can move forward at around $25 million.
What happens to the LRT?
Phase One of the LRT makes no sense without a Phase Two. It’s simply too short. I am committed to moving forward quickly with Phase Two. I am not proposing changes to the existing LRT; but there has been a great deal of secrecy around it. A new Mayor and Council will need to evaluate the success and shortcomings of the Phase 1 of the LRT project and adjusting phase 2 of the LRT, if necessary.
What stops are going to be included in the Capital Region Rail?
A final draft of the map will be developed through the RFP process with implicated parties. The map included in the above section is intended to provide a general idea of areas in the Ottawa-Gatineau Metropolitan Area that will be served by Capital Region Rail.
Doesn’t VIA rail (and other private companies) currently manage the rail infrastructure?
Yes, however, as per federal law, the rail infrastructure is to be shared, and the City of Ottawa, as well as other affected municipalities, have the right to demand access to the rail infrastructure to deliver a Capital Region Rail service.
Does this plan fit with existing transit infrastructure in the city?
Yes, it does. In fact, our plan will enhance existing transit infrastructure, unlike the current Mayor’s plan to fire sale 178 hybrid buses and reduce community service. Our plan also includes the introduction of a pilot project that would launch 12-seater vans getting people in suburban neighborhoods to Capital Region Rail.
How does your Transit plan affect service delivery in Ottawa’s urban center?
Our plan is to maintain transit service in our urban core. Unlike the current Mayor’s plan to fire sale 178 hybrid buses, we will keep the buses, and maintain existing urban service with these buses.
You plan includes the reduction of transit fares, how will this ensure we can pay for your plan, and existing commitments like the second stage of the LRT?
You can’t grow a transit service by always increasing fares and making it out of reach for those who live in poverty, for students and for seniors. Once in office, I will look at our current budget and reallocate monies dedicated to asphalt and road expansions to our transit plan. The Baseline Busway, for example, will not go ahead but there will be more buses on Baseline. Students at Algonquin need more buses and more frequent service, not more asphalt.