Given media reports you may have read, Metrolinx president and chief executive officer, Phil Verster, outlines the transit agency’s expectations for the ongoing work on Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit route.
The Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (ECLRT) project is one of the largest transit expansion projects in Canadian history, and will bring major benefits to communities along the 19-kilometre route.
This transformative project will change how people move across the city, reducing travel times in the corridor by up to 60 per cent compared with current bus service.
Transit projects are delivered on-time when the contractor achieves the production rates they committed to and only through the proper management of their own logistics and operations. In the case of Eglinton Crosstown, our building partner, Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS), has not achieved necessary production rates to maintain the original project schedule that they committed to in their bid.
We’re disappointed this project is late. Metrolinx is focused on ensuring that CTS fully meets its obligations to deliver a system as soon as possible – a system that is complete, fully tested and ready to provide high quality, safe and reliable service to our customers.
Any suggestion, like the one made in the Moody’s Credit Opinion, that the line could be considered ready to open without the ability for passengers to get on or off at the flagship station at Yonge and Eglinton, where tens of thousands of passengers will transfer on a daily basis between the Eglinton Crosstown and the TTC Line 1 Subway, is completely a distraction and is not in line with the obligations CTS took on when it signed the contract.
It is imperative that CTS now focuses on getting the project completed, including Eglinton Station, to the highest quality standards.
We acknowledge the extended construction period has been difficult for communities and businesses along the corridor to endure. Metrolinx will continue to keep the public informed on CTS’s progress and what the projected completion date will be. It’s imperative that CTS now focuses on getting this project completed, to the highest quality standard. Metrolinx will continue to hold CTS accountable for these delays.
It is critical now that CTS provide a robust plan that clearly demonstrates the timeframe for the completion of all of the remaining works they are obligated to deliver under the contract, including Eglinton Station.
It is important to note that the project remains within budget.
Phil Verster is president and CEO of Metrolinx.