Categories: Local News

Edmonton LRT delay costing St. Albert

The delay in opening Edmonton’s new LRT line to NAIT is inconvenient for more than just Edmonton transit riders.

It’s also forecasted to cost the City of St. Albert about $71,000 in extra contract expenses this year.

The new Metro line was originally expected to open this spring.

But it was announced in March that there were delays which likely bumped the opening back until the end of 2014.

The wait is due to a delay in the development of the new signaling system which will be used to run the trains.

As a result, St. Albert Transit won’t be able to make anticipated adjustments. Those adjustments had been part of the 2014 city budget.

In St. Albert’s corporate quarterly report, which was presented Monday to council, the estimate of the extra expenditure was provided.

Director of St. Albert Transit Bob McDonald said they’d been expecting to be able to cut some hours from the servicing schedule as of the end of April.

“Now it’s likely not going to be till January,” he said.

McDonald said the opening of the LRT station at NAIT will give St. Albert Transit the chance to have a connection established there.

“It allows the transfer. There’s a little bit less service required because of that,” he said.

The changes, when they happen, won’t affect a huge amount of St. Albert Transit’s services into Edmonton, McDonald said.

“Some of those routes that go by NAIT, we were looking at making some changes,” he said. “We haven’t set anything yet.”

The forecasted extra $71,000 reported in the quarterly report is only one of a few extra expenditures being predicted for 2014.

Electricity and natural gas prices, fuel prices, heavy snowfall and other expenses are all contributing to a predicted $563,000 in additional operating expenditures for 2014.

Revenues were also being forecasted as higher than budgeted for 2014.

However, staff said in their report to council that administration will monitor revenues and expenses with an eye to keep them in line with the 2014 budget.

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