ION Update March 2014 Preferred Team A significant milestone was reached this month when Council approved GrandLinq as the preferred team to design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) ION Stage 1 light rail transit (LRT). Council's decision followed a comprehensive evaluation of the proposals submitted from the three short-listed teams in the running to build LRT between Kitchener and Waterloo. Speaking after the decision, Councillor Jim Wideman, Chair of the Planning and Works Committee, said it was a great day for the Region. "Council and staff have worked hard to get to this stage and we're now one giant step closer to starting construction this summer," he said. "We're also delighted to partner with GrandLinq and we look forward to working closely with them to deliver ION on-time and onbudget." Highlights of the GrandLinq proposal include:
The capital cost of the proposal is consistent with the capital cost estimate, and can be accommodated within the ION project capital budget of $818 million.
Projected operating, maintenance, lifecycle and financing costs can all be accommodated within the Region's approved funding strategy. Based on the GrandLinq proposal, the rapid transit project remains on-time, on budget and the costs remain affordable based on the Region's approved funding strategy.
GrandLinq Costs There are two components to the overall cost of ION: capital costs, and operations and maintenance costs. GrandLinq's total capital cost is $593 million, including net HST. This includes $532 million funded from the LRT project budget of $818 million and $61 million from intersecting Public Infrastructure Works projects. These projects are being completed as part of the GrandLinq proposal, but are being funded from sources other than ION. They were planned and budgeted for and would have been implemented regardless of ION. They include: King Street and Northfield Drive rehabilitation and reconstruction; the underpass on King Street and the railway crossing near Victoria; rehabilitation and reconstruction of King Street (Victoria Street to Union Street). GrandLinq's annual operations and maintenance cost for 30 years includes:
Operations ($4 million, plus HST and inflation); Maintenance ($4.5 million, plus HST and inflation); Lifecycle (average $8.7 million, plus HST and inflation); Financing ($11 million, plus HST); Insurance ($1.7 million, plus applicable taxes).
Operations and maintenance, financing, lifecycle and Region costs (such as electricity) will be funded by transit fare revenue and an annual 1.2 per cent tax increase (for seven years, starting 2012) as approved by Council in 2011. This 1.2 per cent property tax increase is being offset by other property tax reductions. As a result, the annual net property tax increase for ION will be an average of 0.7 per cent, or approximately $11 per year on the average household. Next Steps: Final Project Agreement The Final Project Agreement with GrandLinq is expected to be signed by early May, with ION Stage 1 LRT construction set to begin shortly thereafter. The agreement is structured to ensure that the Region's interests are protected throughout the entire period, from the start of construction to the end of the operations and maintenance terms.
collect all fare revenue and monitor the performance of GrandLinq to ensure all service requirements are being met. GrandLinq will take ION Stage 1 LRT to final design, build ION Stage 1 LRT and operate and maintain the service between Kitchener and Waterloo, consistent with the Region's performance requirements.
Community Soundbite "My husband and I are seniors who have moved from the suburbs to Uptown Waterloo. We have downsized to one car. We are definitely in favour of the light rail and in fact we are eager for it to be completed and will definitely use it. We need to build for the future and not listen to those who wish to remain in the past. Some people may never want to leave their cars, but they do