October 10, 2012
TTC will run new Toronto light rail lines
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) will run the provincially-funded light rail transit (LRT) lines across the city.
“Metrolinx and the TTC agree on the urgent need to expand transit,” said Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig.
“This agreement was the result of ongoing, open discussion and we are pleased that we have developed a plan that will achieve maximum value for the Province’s investment.”
Under the arrangement, the TTC will operate the four Toronto LRT lines under contract with Metrolinx, while Metrolinx’s private sector partner maintains the assets.
The Ontario government is investing $8.4 billion into the LRT projects.
Metrolinx, the provincial agency that owns much of the transportation infrastructure in Toronto and Hamilton, had previously threatened to bring in a private partner to operate the LRTs and cut the TTC out of the process entirely.
But officials said weeks of intense negotiations yielded a deal that maintains the commission’s stake in the city’s major transit project while finding an effective way to divide labour for the four new lines.
“We’re transforming transit,” TTC chair Karen Stintz said at a news conference.
“But when you transform transit, you’re going to hit a few bumps along the road.”
TTC employees will pilot the trains, sell the tickets, and enforce security, officials said, adding they will maintain full control of the LRT lines. A Metrolinx private contractor will be responsible for maintenance.
Metrolinx will use the Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) framework managed by Infrastructure Ontario (IO) to deliver the projects, subject to the completion of positive value for money analysis.
In applying the AFP approach, Metrolinx and IO will adopt a Design Build Finance Maintain (DBFM) model. Operations will be delivered by the TTC, on behalf of Metrolinx, over an initial 10 year operating agreement, which could be extended by mutual agreement.
Under this arrangement, the TTC will, under contract with Metrolinx, operate the four LRT lines, while Metrolinx’s agent maintains the assets.
According to the Metrolinx website, the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT from Black Creek to Kennedy Station will be complete by 2020.
The Scarborough RT replacement and extension to Sheppard Avenue will be complete by 2020.
The Finch West LRT from the York-Spadina Subway to Humber College will be complete by 2020. The Sheppard East LRT from Don Mills station east to Morningside Avenue will be complete by 2021.
The Toronto LRT Plan is part of The Big Move. The Big Move is a 25-year, $50 billion plan that will transform regional transportation across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Region.
DCN NEWS SERVICES
With files from The Canadian Press
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