2 consortiums shortlisted for 1st phase of Green Line LRT project

via Global News by Paula Tran & Adam MacVicar

Two groups of companies have been shortlisted to help build phase one of Calgary’s Green Line LRT, the city of Calgary announced Friday.

Bow Transit Connectors and City Link Partners were chosen to move onto the request for proposal (RFP) process, where they will compete to become development partners of the project.

Calgary Green Line 2022
Calgary Green Line 2022.

CEO of the Green Line project, Darshpreet Bhatti, said the announcement is a “very big milestone” for the project.

Phase one will build the 18-kilometre stretch of the Green Line, which the city said is the most technically complex section of the new LRT line. This section will support future expansion to the north and south, including a tunnel under the downtown core.

“There’s only a handful of entities out there that can manage a project of this scale,” Bhatti told Global News.

“So for us to have eight of them on two teams, to me is a very strong response from the market and very positive one; I don’t think I could have asked for a different result.”

This comes after “extensive competition” from various companies that bid to help develop the project as part of the city’s request for qualifications process.

The city said submissions were evaluated for technical capabilities, approach, experience and financial capability by an external fairness monitor.

“Green Line is confidently moving forward with Bow Transit Connectors and City Link Partners, two very strong proponent teams,” Green Line board chair Don Fairbairn said in a statement.

“With extensive competition due to record investment in global transit, to have attracted their collective expertise is a great endorsement of the project.”

None of the companies between either consortium is local, which has Calgary’s construction industry hoping for more local involvement in the project.

The Calgary Construction Association said it has raised concerns for months about “the disproportionate involvement and influence of foreign consortiums,” and the “absence” of Calgary and Alberta-based builders from the project.

“Our hope remains that the successful proponent ensures that local businesses, contractors and sub-contractors are well utilized,” Calgary Construction Association president Bill Black said in a statement to Global News.

“We call on the City of Calgary to exercise its influence as the project owner in ensuring that these local businesses are protected throughout the construction and build-out of this vital phase.”

According to Bhatti, local contractors will be put in touch with the developer through an open house once the contract for the project is awarded