Metrolinx Board Meeting – Dec 2017

Our Board of Directors held their final meeting for 2017 today.

President and CEO Phil Verster opened the public session of the meeting by commending Transit Safety Officers Caleb Hannah, Steve Cauwenbergs, William Ng and Acting Sgt. Devon Spiers for their bravery and professionalism in dealing with a security incident last night at Rouge Hill GO Station after a station attendant on duty reported a man acting strangely. Upon arrival, the officers investigated and found a concealed loaded revolver on the suspect. The officers arrested the man and turned him over to the Toronto Police Service, who subsequently charged him. The officers’ actions were praised publicly by Toronto Police as they likely stopped a serious crime and ensured public safety.

Phil then reflected on a  few of our recent achievements, including some major accomplishments on the Union Station revitalization program, issuing the RFQs for Milton and Meadowvale GO Stations and the new Stations Operations West facility, the completion of the Renforth Station transit hub, and the Hydrail Symposium.

Phil also spoke about our Ask Metrolinx Town Hall meeting which will take place next Tuesday, December 12th. Our Senior Management Team will host the session, with the goal of increasing transparency in the decisions we make as an organization and as a new accessible forum for communities to chat with us. Learn more about this here.

Finally, Phil thanked TTC CEO Andy Byford for working in partnership with Metrolinx over the last several years and wished him the best in his new role as President of the New York City Transit Authority.


New Board Member

Board Chair Rob Prichard introduced our newest Board member, Sharleen Stewart. Sharleen is currently International Vice-President of the SEIU (Services Employees International Union), and is the first Canadian woman to sit on the SEIU International Executive Board. She is also the first SEIU woman to sit on the Canadian Labour Congress Executive Committee. Dating back to the start of her career as a frontline hospital worker, Sharleen has always been an activist. Never one to shy away from what she believes in, she has spent decades amplifying the voices of healthcare workers and advocating for equality, respect and dignity.


Updates and Reports

The Board also received updates on the PRESTO Privacy Review, Draft 2041 Regional Transportation Plan and our investigation into hydrogen fuel technology.


PRESTO Privacy Review

As a result of concerns expressed by the public, we conducted a review of our privacy policy and protocols related to requests for PRESTO customer information from law enforcement. We consulted with the public on proposed revisions and sought input from key privacy advocates and experts, law enforcement, transit operators, and the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC). Following this review, we’re proposing a number of measures to strengthen our efforts to protect the privacy of people who register their PRESTO cards. Our proposals will also ensure we are fully transparent with our customers.

The Board approved the recommendations, which were presented by our Senior Legal Counsel, Alba Taylor.

Read the report here.


Hydrogen Fuel Technology Analysis/Evaluation

Chief Capital Officer Peter Zuk gave an update on Metrolinx’s investigation into hydrogen fuel technology. He presented the themes that emerged from the Hydrail Symposium we held in November, and also provided details on the hydrogen feasibility study we’re conducting.

The study is looking into hydrogen fuel cell powered trains, refuelling facilities, storage facilities and hydrogen production. We are also engaging rail vehicle manufacturers to study how a fuel cell system could be integrated into an Electric Multiple Unit type of train.

See the presentation here.


Regional Transportation Plan update

Chief Planning Officer Leslie Woo, Director of Regional Planning Antoine Belaieff and Director of Stakeholder Relations Raj Khetarpal updated the Board on the Draft 2041 Regional Transportation Plan. They shared the feedback we’ve received from public and stakeholder engagement on the Plan and committed to returning to the February 2018 Board Meeting with the following reports:

  • revised draft of the Regional Transportation Plan
  • a full consultation report, and
  • the “Making it Happen” draft discussion paper which outlines how the RTP will come to life.

See the full report here.

The Board received information and updates on Benefits Management and Business Cases, a GO expansion update (on procurement next steps), a follow-up on recent Auditor General reports and an update from our Customer Experience Committee.

Quarterly updates were presented by our business units: PRESTOOperationsPlanning and PolicyCapital ProjectsCommunications and Public AffairsCustomer Experience and Marketing