Joint statement regarding Southwest Transitway

Post Date: Friday, April 15, 2016
Today, City Administration released an update report on the Southwest Transitway that will be discussed at the coming Transportation and Transit Standing Policy Committee meeting. The following is a joint statement from Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Ward 11 Councillor Brian Pincott, and Ward 13 Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart:

“We are concerned to learn that the cost estimate for the Southwest Transitway is significantly higher than the original estimate that was set out in the 2010 functional study for the project. Although this cost escalation can be accommodated in the overall Council approved budget for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) program, we need answers to fully understand how such a significant change could occur.

"As a result, there are several questions that must be addressed, including, but not limited to the following:

  • First, we expect a detailed explanation for the cost escalation for this project and how it may impact other projects in the BRT program.
  • Second, we need a detailed understanding of the phasing and timing for this project.
  • Third, we understand that the City has been meeting with ATCO to coordinate the work on this project and we need an update on the results of those discussions.
  • Fourth, we need to understand the interaction of this project with commercial and residential applications that are coming forward within the 14th Street SW and 90th Avenue SW corridors.
"Finally, the difference in these cost estimates has brought to light a broader question about the City’s capital budgeting process. We need to clearly define, now more than ever, how to better align Council’s approval process so that approvals occur with greater understanding and greater cost certainty.

"We will work with Administration to ensure that these questions are answered at the Transit and Transportation Committee meeting on April 20.”