The proposed link to the Macdonald-Cartier International Airport in the proposed O-Train “Trillium Line” expansion was in the spotlight at an open house in south Ottawa Tuesday night.
Part of “phase two” of Ottawa’s light-rail plan includes extending the current five-stop O-Train line to Bowesville in Riverside Park South while adding stops at Gladstone, Walkley, South Keys and Leitrim.
The city said it's prepared to "explore the feasibility" of a light rail link to the Ottawa airport.
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Both the city and the airport authority said they like the thought of a “spur” from the upgraded line to the airport and surrounding attractions such as the EY Centre, but need to make sure they can afford it.
“No question it’s a great idea but our current plan for phase two of light rail doesn’t include it,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.
“We’re going to have some discussions, obviously with the airport, because we think they have to come to the table with some dollars as well, as they did in Vancouver when they created the spur line to the Vancouver airport.”
Cost of spur not yet known
Ottawa resident Zulf Khalfan said light rail service would improve access to the airport.
“Quite often if you want to travel you have to take a cab or you have to be driven by a family member,” he said.
“Once we took a bus and it was very interesting because we had to go downtown first.”
The Ottawa International Airport Authority said it’s looking forward to discussing funding options but can’t do that yet since the final cost of a spur isn’t yet known.
An environmental assessment is currently underway for the entire proposed Trillium Line expansion.
Another open house is scheduled for Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall at 523 St. Anthony’s Street in Little Italy.
Information from the meetings will also be posted on the city’s Trillium Line website.