For years, I would have to write that a transit project linking downtown Vancouver, Richmond and the airport would cost $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion.
I knew that the figure had been lowballed. But I didn't have a choice because TransLink repeatedly used this $1.5-billion to $1.7-billion figure in news releases concerning what was then known as the Richmond-Airport-Vancouver line. It's now called the Canada Line.
Five years ago, the credit-rating agency Standard & Poor's also suggested there was "cost overrun potential" on the the $1.5-billion to $1.7-billion RAV line.
“The RAV project is a large, lengthy, and ambitious undertaking with cost overrun potential given the long-term and technologically complex nature of the construction project,” Standard & Poor’s stated.
Of course, the costs did go up. Now, the public is being quoted a $2-billion figure for a project that was expected to be built with a bored tunnel that would result in minimal intrusion on local merchants.
The $2-billion line includes 16 stations. The original $1.5-billion to $1.7-billion line was going to include 17 stations.
Of course, higher costs contributed to a decision to go instead with a cut-and-cover tunnel, which obstructed traffic and contributed to the bankruptcies of several businesses on Cambie Street.
So what does the B.C. Liberal platform say about the Canada Line?
Gimme a break.