Why does (most of) Canada suck at building transit?

By Analysis by The Big Story Podcast

By now you might be familiar with the long, sad story of the Ottawa LRT—which just returned from being totally shut down for a month. But that project is far from the only large Canadian transit project to run into delays, mistakes, errors, sky-high budgets and everything else that can turn an ambitious idea into a headache.

Reece Martin is a former transportation planner and the creator of the RM Transit YouTube channel and substack. He says that mistakes can often stem from a lack of institutional knowledge on how to properly build transit. “These are extremely complicated projects, and you want to get the details right, and when you don’t, you have an Ottawa LRT situation,” says Martin.

So, why does it seem so difficult to get new transit built in Canada? Are we really awful at building this stuff, or do we just love to complain about our infrastructure?

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