What is Investing in Mobility?
Keeping Calgarians on the move, whether by foot, bicycle, public transit or motor vehicles, requires consideration and long-term planning. Investing in Mobility is The City’s strategic plan for capital transportation infrastructure projects. It defines the priority and timing of projects, and helps inform Council’s capital budget decisions as part of Action Plan 2015 - 2018.
The latest version of the Investing in Mobility plan covers the years 2015 to 2024, providing a 10 year plan to guide transportation infrastructure decisions. Council approved the plan on May 26, 2014, except for the recommendation to fund traction power upgrades for four-car trains instead of the NW-HUB rapid transit project. On July 28, 2014, Council approved a recommendation from Administration for deferral of a report on the NW-Hub and traction power upgrades until no later than September 8, 2014. Subsequently, on September 8, 2014, Council approved recommendations from Administration to fund the traction power upgrades and to identify funding sources for the NW-Hub as part the NW-Hub Transit Enhancement Study.
Projected Capital Funding
Provincial and federal funding sources account for 61 percent of transportation capital funding. To implement every project, The City requires $5.6 billion over the next 10 years; however, capital funding for transportation projects will decline as many provincial and federal funding programs will end. The City is projecting a $1.9 billion gap in funding over the next decade. This means some priority transportation infrastructure projects will remain unfunded until new funding becomes available.
Innovative Funding & Financing Research
On December 9, 2013, The City held a workshop with targeted stakeholders to identify innovative funding and financing tools that would enable construction of the Southeast Transitway and Green Line LRT. The resulting report discusses tools used by other North American cities to fund major transit projects, and preliminary feedback from stakeholders. On January 31, 2014, City Administration recommended to Council more research on these tools to determine if any are appropriate to fund major infrastructure projects in Calgary.
City Council subsequently directed Administration to “evaluate the full range of 27 potential funding or revenue sharing mechanisms, or other methods, using best practice evaluation criteria, to identify which mechanisms are best suited to fund the future transition to the Green Line LRT, and the remainder of the unfunded list in Investing in Mobility…” This work is now complete, and a report on the study was presented to the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit on May 20, 2015.
How are projects prioritized?
Projects are prioritized based on key directional documents and long-term plans, as approved by Council. Examples include:
Investing in Mobility uses a set of evaluation criteria based on these key documents to help prioritize projects in four infrastructure categories. The City also uses the results of different citizen engagement activities, like the recently completed engagement for Action Plan 2015-2018 to decide what types of projects will be built.