The Cost Of A State Of The Art Light Rail Transit System

The Edmonton Urban Light Rail Transit system combines above-ground and below-ground sections to efficiently serve the city's diverse urban population. The above-ground segments are economically viable for less densely populated areas, providing a cost-effective solution. At the same time, below-ground tunnels enhance connectivity in congested regions, creating a transportation network for families and students.

The Southeast leg of Edmonton's Valley Line LRT, spanning 13 kilometres with 12 stops, including a bridge over the North Saskatchewan River and a short tunnel north of the river, is costly. This 13 km project, costing $1.8 billion with $140 million per kilometre, represents a shared cost project between municipal, provincial, and federal governments.

Despite the massive upfront costs, the long-term benefits of a state-of-the-art light rail transit system will bring economic advantages for Edmontonians, and efficient transportation contributes to a city's economic growth.

The city is extending its light rail transit network by 35 kilometres, crisscrossing a metropolis of 1.2 million residents. This expansion comes with an estimated cost of $5.3 billion, another sizable funding commitment to further urban development and transit infrastructure. While the initial funding/cost requires significant money from all three levels of government, such a project will improve Edmonton's future economic growth and development.

Unfortunately, property taxation may experience an increase, but the long-term advantages of an efficient transit system will contribute to the city's prosperity and enhance the overall quality of life for its residents.

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