Metrolinx CEO addresses litigation initiated by Crosslinx Transit Solutions regarding Eglinton Crosstown LRT project

Metrolinx says Crosslinx is attempting to use the COVID-19 pandemic to excuse its years of poor performance. Read the statement from Metrolinx CEO, Phil Verster, on why getting the Eglinton Crosstown back on schedule, not litigation, must be the focus.

Metrolinx has a singular focus and objective, which is to complete the Eglinton Crosstown at the soonest possible date. We have been actively supporting Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS) to deliver on their promises and their schedule, however, CTS has consistently failed, month after month, for two years, to achieve their production rates.

On February 18, 2020, well before COVID-19 hit us, we already declared that CTS was not going to meet their completion date of September 2021 and that the project was unfortunately going to be delayed well into 2022. Since our announcement, CTS’s performance has not improved, despite our active support.

Rather than legal action, we need CTS to focus on what is most important – getting the Eglinton project completed.

PHIL VERSTER, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF METROLINX

CTS now suggests the COVID-19 pandemic is hurting their production. However, CTS’s lack of productivity was a problem from well before the pandemic hit. CTS has achieved their monthly production rates in only four months out of the last 26 months. Since August 2018, CTS has achieved only 72% of their planned volume of work.    

CTS went to court in 2018 and now they are now doing it again. Litigation, while not surprising, is not what is required now. There is a dispute resolution process in the contract and CTS should follow that. Rather than legal action, we need CTS to focus on what is most important – getting the Eglinton project completed.

Metrolinx is doing its part and are meeting its commitments, while also working hard with CTS to assist their recovery actions. Three years ago, we took strong actions and improved Bombardier’s production and vehicle delivery is now on schedule. It’s time for CTS to bring the same level of commitment to getting their job done.

Work continues at Laird Station, as seen in this photo taken August. 17. (Metrolinx photo)

Metrolinx has also been working hard during the pandemic to create opportunities for CTS to speed up their work. During COVID-19, projects like the Eglinton Crosstown were deemed essential workplaces by the Province, so work could continue. We’ve also worked with the City of Toronto to free up space for CTS to work in critical areas, taking advantage of reduced traffic volumes.  Our focus has always been, and remains, getting this project complete and in service.

We’re disappointed this project is late. Metrolinx is focused on ensuring CTS fully meets its obligations to deliver the Crosstown as soon as possible – a vital new transit line that is complete, fully tested and ready to provide high quality, safe and reliable service to our customers.

We understand 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.

Phil Verster is president and CEO of Metrolinx.