P3 pushing Edmonton LRT up ‘by $500m'

A new report into Canada’s troubled Edmonton Light Rail Transit scheme has claimed that using private finance has increased costs by C$500m.

According to the study from the Parkland Institute, the extra cost of private versus public financing “is enough to nullify what little value for money and risk transfer advantages might be gained”, while a lack of transparency in the deal has meant city councilors have been unable to do their due diligence.

It added that the value for money calculations made in the city’s business case may be “significantly overstated”.

“Based on the information we’ve been able to access, virtually every aspect of the city’s case for proceeding with the P3 arrangement is far from convincing,” said report author and University of Manitoba economics professor, John Loxley.

The Edmonton scheme is facing major funding problems at present, after it was revealed in August that it is likely to be delayed due to a funding shortfall.