Reevely: Ottawa’s LRT plan comes with big lessons for the private partnerships we love so much
Ottawa Citizen

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen, February 20, 2017

We love building things like light-rail lines with public-private partnerships but have some amazingly screwed-up rules for them, says a report on the lessons the city learned from planning the first phase of rail construction in Ottawa.

Cities have to beg for provincial and federal money before they have a clear idea what their plans will cost, and sometimes those estimates are too low when they get locked in. The system pushes for cheap over good, and also gives bidders an incentive to squeeze as many costs as they can out of construction budgets and into decades-long maintenance agreements, where they’ll get much less attention.

Connect with us