Two stories collided Thursday morning, as the city is now charging for a lot more park’n’ride spots at LRT stations. And the feds and the province are signing off in a ceremony at the Legislature on the transit agreement that will free up funding to the city.
Mayor Don Iveson said city council has requested $30 million to build a park’n’ride that will eventually replace what’s at Century Park.
“There’s about $15 million federal dollars, close to $7 million in provincial, and $7 million in city dollars that we had already set aside in our previous budget cycle and that gives us the ability to move ahead quite quickly on construction facility that, as we see from the waiting list for even paid stalls at Century Park, there’s huge demand for.”
Iveson will be on hand in the Legislature Rotunda when ministers Amarjeet Sohi and Brian Mason sign phase one of the transit funding agreement.
Iveson said there is a multi phase long range plan for what they’d like to build on Ellerslie road. “In the fullness of time the space is there to build a 3,000 space parking lot. I think we’ll build as much as we can for $30 million. That’ll depend on the tenders but we’ll go as far as we can. It was always understood to be a phased development and in the fullness of time the LRT would extend to there and when you do that you’d add more parking at that time.”
“How many stalls we’ll get will be four figures for sure, whether we get to 3,000 in the first shot, hey pricing is really good on construction right now. If we can go all the way, 10,000 stalls may be a little ambitious, but if we can get there I’d be happy to see us accommodate Edmontonians and folks from the region and supplement what’s available today at Century Park but won’t be forever because of the expiring lease agreement.”
The $30 million is for construction only. Buses sold separately.
“We would expect to have to buy buses anyway to accommodate people and I’ve long been a champion of some kind of super-express service running from Century Park down into Heritage Valley through that park’n’ride and into the town centre as a pre-cursor to our eventual plans to deliver rail there. With the generous contributions of the federal government, we’re getting closer and closer to every month, every year, you know not every day, it’s going to be a while before we get there. That’s why you need the pre-cursor bus service.”
CIty council dealt with a report last week that indicated 50-percent of funding will come from the feds, with 25-percent each from the province and the city. That was a surprise to the Mayor because traditionally the province contributed 33-percent of funding.
City council will also use the millions that will be detailed in a 10 o’clock announcement for LRT planning, bus purchases and other safety and security measures.