The Metrolinx Board of Directors met today to receive a number of reports, including updates on the Regional Express Rail program, an update on Metrolinx’s Community Benefits program, and a PRESTO progress update. The Board discussed the finalized Letter of Direction report that was submitted to the Minister of Transportation, and the strategies Metrolinx has been working on to mitigate the risks identified in the recent Auditor General’s report.
Chief Capital Officer John Jensen and Chief Planning Officer Leslie Woo updated the Board on various components of the GO Regional Express Rail (RER) program.
Their presentations covered:
- the RER Procurement Strategy, including work that is upcoming and currently underway
- the GO Rail Station Access Plan, which was approved by the Board, outlines the new standards and requirements of our stations going forward
Leslie presented an update on new RER stations. Her report discussed the outcome of negotiations with the relevant municipalities regarding twelve planned new stations located throughout the GTHA, which were approved by the Board at the June 2016 meeting. The report addressed the integration of the City of Toronto’s SmartTrack program, which includes six of those stations, and the western extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, into the RER program.
Community Benefits Update
Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer Judy Pfeifer and Chief Capital Officer John Jensen provided an update on Metrolinx’s Community Benefits program, which aims to offer opportunities and other benefits for local residents, such as equitable hiring practices, training, apprenticeship and local supplier and social procurement opportunities, where possible.
PRESTO Executive Vice President Rob Hollis provided updates on deployment across the TTC, a system upgrade, and 2016 client agreements.
Rob noted that, by the end of 2016, Metrolinx will achieve another major milestone in the delivery of the TTC project: the installation of PRESTO devices in all buses, streetcars, subway stations, WheelTrans vehicles, and contracted taxis.
His report also provided updates on device reliability, self-serve reload machines, and TTC roll-out plans for 2017.
Auditor General’s Report
Chief Financial Officer Robert Siddall spoke to the Board about the strategies Metrolinx has been working on to mitigate the risks identified in the recent Auditor General’s report.
Robert advised that Metrolinx’s Senior Management Team will develop detailed action plans with milestones and timelines to address each of the report’s recommendations. The Internal Audit group at Metrolinx will follow up quarterly with SMT on the status of action plans, as well as with the Audit, Finance, and Risk Management Committee, until all action plans are completed.
Letter of Direction Final Report and Minister’s Mandate Letter
Chief Financial Officer Robert Siddall spoke to the Board about Metrolinx’s 2016-17 Letter of Direction Final Report.
The report is a response to the Minister of Transportation’s Letter of Direction, which set out the expectations for Metrolinx for the 2017-18 fiscal year, including priority actions and agency performance.
The report summarizes work undertaken to enhance agency oversight, accountability and resource optimization as critical transit projects are built across the GTHA.
Customer Experience Committee Update
Marianne McKenna, Chair of Metrolinx’s Customer Experience Committee, provided a quarterly update on current topics of focus for the Committee:
- Automated audio and visual announcements in trains
- Triplinx updates to improve the customer experience
- the six-month self-service kiosk pilot at GO Stations
- UP Express ridership
- PRESTO system updates
- Wayfinding Harmonization pilot project
Appointment of Officers
The Board accepted the appointment of executive officers at Metrolinx. George Bell is the new vice president of Safety & Security, and Gerry Chaput is the new vice president of Rapid Transit within the Capital Projects Group.