It’s good that city hall is starting to provide more frequent updates about the state of the light rail project. But that doesn’t make it any more likely that Rideau Transit Group will pay the city’s costs because of the delay.
The city’s message has clearly shifted. For years, we were reassured that if the project wasn’t finished on time, there would be penalties and any costs the city incurred would automatically be the responsibility of the consortium. Now, we’re being told that city officials will do everything they can to recover those costs and that they’re optimistic they’ll be successful. There’s no question the city has leverage, but the truth is there are no guarantees and nobody knows how this will turn out.
Unfortunately, most city councillors were too busy jumping on the light rail bandwagon to ask the necessary questions before the contract was signed. The public is so excited about trains it probably won’t make a big difference. But that doesn’t mean we’ve been represented as well as we should have been.