Posts tagged ‘Transportation’

Waterloo Region Says Rapid Transit Project Attractive to Builders

Regional officials say the $818-million rapid transit project is getting a lot of attention from potential bidders.

“Our project is actually looking very attractive right now,” Thomas Schmidt, commissioner of transportation, told regional council on Tuesday.

“We are anticipating that between six to eight firms are interested in the request for qualifications.”

In October, the region will invite potential bidders to have their qualifications to design, build, finance, maintain and operate rapid transit evaluated.

Companies interested in bidding on the contract will answer questions on such issues as partnering, financing, construction experience, maintenance and operating experience.

Three front-runners will be shortlisted and invited to bid on the project in the spring. Construction on bus rapid transit is slated to start next summer and rapid transit in 2014.

“It’s attractive in different ways to different teams,” said Mike Murray, chief administrative officer.

Schmidt said bidders would be attracted by the scope of the project — without any tunnelling or other complicated work — and because of its scale.

“There are not very many, if any, big projects like this moving forward at this time,” Schmidt said.

The region expects capital costs involved in building tracks and infrastructure to be about $600 million.

About 25 per cent of that will likely be held back from the winning team and paid over the life of a 30-year contract as part of the design, build, operate, finance and maintain model.

The cash serves partly as an incentive to the contractors to do a good job and keep them from walking away from the project.

Coun. Jean Haalboom, who originally voted against using the private partnership model, said she still wasn’t satisfied.

“I remain very concerned about this,” she said.

Taking point on rapid transit is Darshpreet Bhatti, who was named director of rapid transit Sept. 25.

Bhatti, 33, has been acting director since Nancy Button resigned in March to take a consultant position in Toronto.

The University of Toronto engineering graduate has worked provincially as a consultant on transit, road and highway projects. He started on the region’s rapid transit project four years ago.

“I feel confident and I look forward to the future,” he said. “The experience over the last four years has given me that broad spectrum of what to expect.”

He added, “We need to make sure that we go out, we inform as much as we possibly can, and work with the community to give them the best product and service.”

Bhatti was appointed after the region searched across Canada and the U.S. for a new director and interviewed candidates from both countries, Schmidt said.

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October 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm Leave a comment

Region Not Happy After Large Transportation Analysis

Local politicians want to see Waterloo Region better represented in an analysis of long-term transportation needs at the provincial level.

Regional councillors voted last week to advise the Ministry of Transportation that a currently under development transportation strategy for the GTA and areas to the west “will not provide sufficient infrastructure for the long term to connect Waterloo Region, Wellington County and the City of Guelph to the Greater Toronto Area”.

The strategy aims to reduce congestion on Highway 401 by expanding the highway to 12 lanes near Mississauga, but the region takes issue with the lack of a new connection between Toronto and Waterloo Region.

“Any kind of incident on [the 401] would make it difficult for goods movements between the two areas and also commuter traffic,” said Graham Vincent, the region’s director of transportation planning.

The region is also lobbying the ministry to increase GO Transit train service to Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge, include the region in an upcoming provincial traffic management study, and hold off on any final decisions until the completion of a Waterloo-Wellington-Brant regional transportation study.

“We believe that could go a long ways toward offloading some of the traffic congestion along the 401. We see that as a key element of the entire package,” said Vincent of GO Transit expansion.

Source: The Cambridge Times

September 6, 2012 at 11:25 pm Leave a comment

Sally Ann Park Doomed Before it Even Starts?

A city proposal to turn a core-area London road into park space for Salvation Army clients has alarmed a nearby non-profit children’s centre already unnerved by neighbouring drug use and squatters.

Boys’ and Girls’ Club of London boss Don Donner says he’s worried turning the road running along the Centre of Hope into an enclosed park — in part to ease loitering at the busy Wellington-Horton intersection — may bring more trouble to their doorstep.

Council’s environment and transportation committee this week gave city staff the go-ahead to further explore closing a portion of Bathurst St. and a Wellington St. offshoot, leasing them to the Salvation Army as an enclosed recreational green space.

Besides easing the troublesome Horton-Wellington loitering, the proposal is designed to give Centre of Hope clients and their friends a safe, supervised place where trouble, such as drug dealers, can’t get to them.

The park proposal is tied to a $1.5 million public works stimulus fund project to replace sewers along Bathurst. Its surface could be left in a state that would allow a park, rather than a roadway.


January 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm 1 comment

Waterloo Region Transportation Master Plan – Moving Forward 2031

In early 2010, the Regional Transportation Master Plan team will be proposing a series of strategies to reduce travel demand and increase infrastructure to support more transit, bicycle, and walking combined with strategic road improvements. Be sure to join the conversation and have your say about the future of transportation in Waterloo Region.

Source: Moving Forward 2031

January 28, 2010 at 10:34 pm Leave a comment

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