Light Rail

Stintz: Metrolinx Fully Funding Crosstown LRT

By Ryan McGreal
Published August 28, 2012

The City of Toronto is not contributing any capital dollars to the $6 billion Eglinton Crosstown LRT, according to TTC Chair Karen Stintz.

The Toronto Councillor for Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence, confirmed in an email response to RTH, "The TTC will not have to pay for any of the capital costs of construction or vehicle procurement."

Both Metrolinx and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation have been evasive on the matter of Toronto's contribution to other Metrolinx-managed transit projects across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Finally, an MTO spokesperson acknowledged, "The Province is the primary funding source for the projects and will retain ownership and control," but would not specify whether Toronto is contributing any money.

According to Stintz, the ongoing maintenance agreements for the Eglinton Crosstown line, which will be owned by Metrolinx, "continue to be negotiated so that may explain the reluctance of Metrolinx or MTO to give you a straight answer."

Last week, Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina said in a CBC Hamilton interview that he was told by Minister of Transport Bob Chiarelli that Hamilton would have to pay some of the cost of the planned east-west B-Line LRT here.

Neither the MTO nor the Mayor have said whether a specific dollar amount or percentage was discussed.

Metrolinx has said that it will not make a funding decision on the B-Line until after it completes an Investment Strategy due June 2013.

Karen Stintz

A conserative-leaning Toronto Councillor, Stintz was appointed to Chair the TTC by Mayor Rob Ford. Early this year, Stintz led crucial Council votes in support of Toronto's Transit City model of integrated light rail transit lines, against the opposition of Mayor Ford.

This summer, Stintz and TTC vice chair Glenn De Baeremaeker proposed a comprehensive transit plan for Toronto, called OneCity, that would be partially funded by the municipality through a 2 percent property tax.

Despite overwhelming public support for the proposal, Toronto Council backed away from instructing staff to study it.

Stintz was undeterred, saying, "We don't want to be the city that talks about transit any more. We want to be the city that builds transit."

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By James (registered) | Posted August 28, 2012 at 08:07:32

Yes, but what about Hamilton? Why do we have to help pay for it but Toronto doesn't?

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By mrgrande (registered) | Posted August 28, 2012 at 08:20:14

Finally, an MTO spokesperson acknowledged, "The Province is the primary funding source for the projects and will retain ownership and control," but would not specify whether Toronto is contributing any money.

So the TTC won't be running the Crosstown? It'll be a GO line, then?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 28, 2012 at 08:23:08 in reply to Comment 80101

It will be owned and operated by Metrolinx.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2012-08-28 08:25:51

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 28, 2012 at 08:29:04

This is what happens when nobody stands up and champions our cause. Amazing that in 2012 we still have politicians who don't understand leadership.

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By JM (registered) | Posted August 28, 2012 at 08:59:18 in reply to Comment 80103

Hamilton needs its own Karen Stintz... seriously! it took a lot for her to stand up to Ford and council like that re: the whole Transit City thing

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By randomguy (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2012 at 08:31:58

Honestly Toronto has roughly five times the population and has a bunch of projects that look to get full funding. Hamilton needs to stand up to demand its fair share. Of course with Bratina running interference we get screwed.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 28, 2012 at 09:01:11 in reply to Comment 80104

Exactly. The Crosstown LRT alone, not including the Sheppard and Finch lines, is $6 billion, or 7.5 times the cost of Hamilton's B-Line.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 28, 2012 at 09:59:18

You know what they say - you get what you ask for. Our council rep went and asked the province to confirm that they won't pay 100% of the cost.
That's a lot different than demanding they pay 100% of the cost. How sad that political affiliation is more important than the needs of Hamilton citizens.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted August 28, 2012 at 10:06:35 in reply to Comment 80107

Just as sad is the fact that Metrolinx has been denatured from an empowered, arms-length regional transit coordinator to a toothless sideshow to raw politicking. The whole point of Metrolinx was supposed to be that integrated regional transit is too important to be left up to narrow parochialism.

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted August 28, 2012 at 12:52:46 in reply to Comment 80108

No surprise really it never had any "transportation" people on it. Just look at the board members and ask yourself if you're surprised it became an exercise in politicking.

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By Sigma Cub (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2012 at 10:57:03 in reply to Comment 80108

"a toothless sideshow to raw politicking"

Entirely coincidental, I am sure, that the Crosstown is located almost entirely within Liberal-held ridings. (A short stretch of the western leg overlaps the northern border of the NDP-held Davenport riding.)

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