CALGARY -- Calgary councillors are meeting Tuesday morning to discuss revised route options for the Green Line LRT.

The committee for the project is holding a closed-session workshop as uncertainty looms over its $4.9 billion price tag.

Finding cash flow for the proposed C-Train line has been a struggle since the province announced it was withholding $480 million in the short-term, with the bulk of the funds not expected to come until at least 2023 and beyond.

The lack of money puts a blemish on the hope of beginning construction next year.

In addition, the committee must also keep in mind the issue of the city's $73 million shortfall in provincial funding along with grappling design and alignment issues.

Tuesday’s closed-door session will focus primarily on route options and how the train will traverse the Bow River and downtown.

The city’s project team says it’s also looking at options for a new route through the downtown including a shortening of the underground tunnel from four kilometres to 2.2 kilometres.

City GM Michael Thompson suggested at the previous Green Line Committee meeting in December that ridership could decrease by 50 per cent if the southern leg of the train line doesn’t traverse the CP tracks and go right into the downtown core.

Thompson added that not connecting the north end also result in a 10 per cent decrease in riders.

Committee members will mull over route options along with cost reductions of the Green Line project behind closed doors at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. The hope is that a preferred option could be presented to the Green Line Committee sometime in March.

Potential Funding Termination 

Proposed legislation from Alberta’s UCP government will allow its cabinet to terminate $1.53 billion in Green Line funding "without cause" with just 90 days’ notice to the City of Calgary.

Bill 20, which was introduced in October of 2019, would require that any material change to the Green Line project be approved by the minister of transportation before the city could proceed.

Mayor Nenshi says the city was not consulted on Bill 20 and views it as a concern for private contractors who may be less likely to sign on to the project if funding could suddenly disappear.

Despite the imposed condition, Nenshi and committee members remain optimistic they will find a solution.