Industry Canada

Industry Canada

April 25, 2009 13:30 ET

Edmonton Opens Two South LRT Stations

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - April 25, 2009) - A new era in Edmonton's history began today. Edmontonians can now travel from Clareview Station to South Campus Station on light rail transit (LRT). Efficient and environmentally responsible, LRT service will transport commuters quickly and quietly and take cars off roads.

Mayor Stephen Mandel; the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Labour; the Honourable Gene Zwozdesky, Minister of Aboriginal Relations; and Mr. Don Hickey, Vice President Facilities and Operations, University of Alberta; today officially opened McKernan/Belgravia and South Campus LRT Stations.

Funding for the extension of the LRT south from Health Sciences Centre was provided by the Government of Canada, the Province of Alberta and the City of Edmonton.

"Development of LRT is a key strategy to achieve our City Vision," said Mayor Mandel. "For Edmonton to remain one of Canada's most liveable and sustainable cities, we need to become more compact, and move people safely and efficiently."

"The federal Gas Tax Fund delivers tangible results for communities that Albertans use and depend on every day," said Minister Ambrose. "These new LRT stations in Edmonton are an excellent example of how our Government is working with our partners to create jobs, strengthen our economy and our environment, and improve the quality of life for the families of Edmonton during this challenging economic time."

"These two new LRT stations will go a long way to improve the quality of life of residents and commuters while lowering traffic in this busy area of the City," said Minister Zwozdesky. "This investment by three levels of government will also help increase road safety for both motorists and pedestrians and reduce Alberta's carbon footprint."

This is the first portion of the South LRT extension to be completed. The next phase, from South Campus to Century Park, will open in April 2010. Funding for the construction was provided by the Government of Canada through the federal Gas Tax Fund. To date, the City of Edmonton has received $107 million through this fund.

The extension of the LRT is a critical transportation link that is both environmentally friendly and sustainable. The Province of Alberta contributed to the construction of the South LRT extension through the Alberta Municipal Infrastructure Program and the City Transportation Fund. In 2008-09, the City of Edmonton will have received more than $210 million from these funds. These grant funding programs are designed to provide support for priority municipal infrastructure projects, including transportation and public transit undertakings such as LRT lines and vehicles.

The University of Alberta provided lands for the new South Campus LRT station, transit centre and bus access roads. Celebrating the University of Alberta's entry into its second century at this event, Don Hickey, said:

"As we look forward to the University of Alberta's next 100 years, the South Campus LRT station will play a vital role in our ability to connect each of our Edmonton campuses through the use of public transit. This linear campus model creates a more sustainable way to offer students, faculty, staff and visitors with access to our facilities without the use of a vehicle."

The Gas Tax Fund delivers infrastructure funding to local governments and other eligible recipients primarily for projects that lead to cleaner air, cleaner water or reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The Government of Canada extended the Gas Tax Fund beyond 2014 at $2 billion per year when it becomes a permanent commitment at that level. This means a total of $1.16 billion in funding between 2007-2014 for local infrastructure in Alberta. As such, this fund complements the $12 billion in infrastructure funding in Canada's Economic Action Plan and other funding in the Building Canada Plan.

Construction of the 2.3 kilometre extension of the LRT from Health Sciences to South Campus station began in 2005. Regular LRT and transit service from these new stations begins April 26, 2009.

www.buildingcanada.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Transit Projects Branch
    Kathy Mercure
    Communications Officer
    780-944-6485
    or
    Office of the Minister of State for Transport
    Rob Merrifield, Ottawa
    Chris Hilton
    613-991-0700
    or
    Edmonton Transit System
    Patricia Dickson
    Communications Officer
    780-496-5751