Canada Line line success sparks dreams of early debt repayment — as early as 2022

Tranlink’s latest  update on the Canada Line’s 100,000-trip a day numbers has sparked dreams of moving up the date at which Translink will be able to retire the debt required to build the project in the first place. Translink pegs that happy day as early as sometime in 2022, rather than 2025.

That day could have come even earlier, of course, if the project had been funded entirely by the public sector. Instead, the province forced Translink to contribute a share of capital and to repay the construction, operation and maintenance costs of Intransit, the private operator. Private capital always costs more.

Fortunately, the P3 craze seems to be fading, with the Port Mann Bridge replacement and the Evergreen Line both marked down for public finance.