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Update from the Green Line Board

Dear Calgarians,

As you transition out of summer, and return to regular routines at school, work and in the community, you will likely notice that Green Line construction has ramped up in the Beltline and Downtown. A clear signal that Green Line is moving forward and another great opportunity to share updates from the Green Line Board.

We know how important this project is to Calgarians, and while a lot of our work is done behind the scenes, we want to ensure you get additional information about the project directly from us, beyond our public monthly and quarterly reports. In this update, we wanted to share more about the Board and the steps we’re taking to deliver Phase 1 of the Green Line LRT, from Shepard to Eau Claire.

City Council, with the endorsement of the provincial and federal governments, put the Green Line Board in place in 2021. Working within Council direction, we have a mandate to deliver the project, within the committed funds, for Calgarians and on behalf of our funding partners. We take this responsibility seriously and are utilizing our collective expertise in megaprojects, planning, finance, and governance, coupled with our outstanding leadership team, to get this project right.

Last summer, the province announced it had successfully concluded an extensive year-long review of several factors including costs, risks, procurement, and ridership and approved the updated business case and their $1.5B contribution. Their approval aligned all three orders of government, and with confidence from our own thorough review process, we made key decisions to begin making the Green Line LRT a reality.

In what has been an exciting year, construction began in the Beltline and Downtown on our multi-year project to relocate and upgrade utilities for the future track and stations. We announced the purchase of our new fleet of light rail vehicles, moved forward with a phased approach to building Green Line and released the Request For Qualifications (RFQ) for Phase 1, all significant milestones along our critical path. It has been rewarding to see the interest and confidence from the market in response to these decisions. And last month, we were pleased to announce the RFQ short-list of two strong teams competing to build the Green Line for Calgarians.

Moving forward, the Board will have important decisions to make. As the largest project in Calgary’s history with $4.9B in funding, Calgarians and our funding partners are relying on us to make decisions and recommendations to Council that balance expected benefits with the corresponding costs and risks.  

Through ongoing due diligence, we seek confirmation from various independent expert advisors that our assessment of technical and financial risk is sound and reflected in our overall estimates of cost and schedule for completing the project. We have confidence in the quality of this work and the processes we use to continually evaluate results as we move through procurement.

We have seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that markets can change quickly. Just two years ago, a global pandemic and escalating inflation were not significant factors in infrastructure project pricing. To mitigate these risks, we developed a procurement process that requires open collaboration with our future construction partner to evaluate, negotiate and agree on design, risks, costs and schedule, in a transparent manner, with a goal to having an agreement in place in 2024. Like our approach to procurement, Calgarians can always count on the Board to make thoughtful, forward-looking decisions to reduce potential project risk.

In the City of Calgary’s recent Spring Pulse Survey, 91% of you shared your support for Green Line. From creating jobs to connecting you to where you work, live and play, this is a project for all of Calgary. We believe in Green Line and its remarkable long-term city-shaping benefits and are committed to making the best possible decisions for the project. Thank you for your support and confidence in us as we work to deliver the Green Line LRT.

We look forward to keeping you updated.

Don Fairbairn