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Ottawa seeks developers for $2.3bn light rail extension

The procurement process is underway for the next phase of a light rail project that will bring close to 70% of Canada’s capital within 5km of rail transit.

The City of Ottawa has issued a request for qualifications for developers interested in building the $3 billion ($2.3 billion; €2.1 billion) second stage of the Canadian capital’s light rail transit project.

The project includes the construction of 19 new stations and 30km of new rail to the east, west and south of the city, bringing close to 70 percent of the city’s population within 5km of rail transit by 2023.

Extension of Ottawa’s light rail is being procured as two separate projects. The city plans to offer a design, build and finance contract for the construction of the Confederation Line East and West extensions, estimated to cost C$2.5 billion. A separate procurement is planned for the expansion of the Trillium Line, including an airport rail link, estimated at C$535 million.

Canada’s 2017 federal budget, released last month, mentioned the Ottawa light rail extension as part of “the next phase of ambitious public transit projects”. The spending plan did not allocate funding for the project, but the City of Ottawa is asking for $1.2 billion in federal funding for the project.

The first stage of the Ottawa light rail extension was awarded in December 2012 to Rideau Transit Group. The consortium, led by Spain’s ACS, won a C$2.1 billion 35-year contract to build and maintain 12.5km of light rail track, 13 stations and a 3.2km tunnel.