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Ontario pledges $1 billion to Ottawa's light-rail expansion project

Ontario will commit more than $1 billion (in Canadian dollars) toward Ottawa's light-rail transit expansion project, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced late last week.

The funding represents the largest provincial transit investment in Ottawa's history, Ontario government officials said in a press release.

Stage 2 of the light-rail project will add 18.6 miles of new rail and 19 new stations, extending the city's light-rail network to the east, west and south. Ontario's funding commitment also will help support the capital costs of two additional extensions: a spur to the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport and an extension to Trim Road in Orleans. These will add 4 miles of new rail and three stations.

Construction on Stage 2 is expected to begin in 2018, following the completion of the Stage 1 Confederation Line. The project's second stage is expected to enter service in 2023.

Ontario already has committed up to $600 million toward the $2.1 billion first phase of the project, which is jointly funded by the government of Canada and Ottawa.

"The province remains committed to working with the city of Ottawa as it moves forward with implementing its Stage 2 LRT project," said Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca. "We know how important public transit is to managing congestion, curbing emissions, creating jobs and building communities."

Ontario's funding for Stage 2 is part of the province's $160 billion, 12-year investment in public infrastructure — the largest investment of its kind in Ontario's history. The money will go toward improving transit, roads, bridges, schools and hospitals.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/7/2016