Feds Drop More Money on the Evergreen Line

So Harper's Conservatives have apparently solidified the Evergreen Line funding mentioned in the 2009 budget, adding $350 million more to the project, bringing it within $173 million of its $1.4 billion total cost.

(Interesting how you can build an entire, expensive Skytrain line for 1/2 the price of a 10-lane bridge).

At least it is becoming obvious that the time is right to expand public infrastructure projects, and transit is definitely the right thing to build. Too bad it's going to be more SkyTrain, but hopefully it will be the last.

The questions of the day seem to have been: so where's the rest going to come from? And, is this really going to be built?

The announcement was met with skepticism by the NDP MLAs from the area, such as Coquitlam MLA Diane Thorne:

"Today marks the fifth time the Campbell government has promised the Evergreen Line....The last thing we need is more announcements, photo ops, broken promises and delays; we need Campbell to stop stalling and finally start construction on a route he promised over five years ago.”

The subtext of the release seems to read that the $173 million shortfall will be made up with either private money (via another P3), or transit-oriented real estate development. I'd much rather see Translink begin to profit from their own infrastructure improvements, than I would like to see another bungling P3 attempt.

Timing these infrastructure improvements can be interesting: the best time to build is during a recession, while the best time to profit from the real estate would be during a period of sharp growth. Translink, if they get moving quickly, could be in a great position, able to buy low and be a part of the coming boom (if there is any land in Port Moody left for sale).