Light Rail

TTC Will Not Operate New Toronto LRT Lines

By Ryan McGreal
Published September 20, 2012

The Toronto Star reports that the TTC will not operate the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown, Finch and Sheppard Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines once they are completed.

Metrolinx is assuming 100 percent of the direct capital costs for these projects and will be pursuing a financing and procurement model that runs the capital project through Infrastructure Ontario and seeks a private company to operate and maintain the lines.

The decision to choose another operator follows months of behind-the-scenes tension between the TTC and Metrolinx over the province's determination to use Infrastructure Ontario and an AFP to design and build the projects, worth more than $8.4 billion in provincial funding. Metrolinx had always planned to use an AFP process with some parts of the project, including station construction.

"It's not our money. It's their money, their project," [TTC Chair Karen] Stintz said.

It is still not clear whether the TTC will have to provide operating money, or whether the fare system for these LRT lines will be integrated with the rest of the TTC network the way the fare system for TTC buses, streetcars and subways is integrated.

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 Happy Guest (anonymous) | Posted September 20, 2012 at 16:28:21

Thank god. Hurray for Metrolinx!

I'm very sorry that Andy Byford (who seems to be doing a great job) won't get a chance to get a hand in this process. However, I don't think he has enough power and influence (yet) to counter the disaster that is the ATU113 and Chair Stintz ("We MUST replace the SRT with an LRT, and you can like it or lump it. Oh, woops! Wait a minute... We MUST replace the SRT with a subway...")

If City Council is going to force those worst-design-possible god-awful Transit-City-through-the-backdoor streetcars/LRVs on the citizens of Toronto - against their wishes, I might add - thank god Metrolinx had the foresight and courage to at least prevent the infliction of the Surface-Rail division of the ATU113 at the same time.

Hey Ms. Stintz, and all your short-sighted supporters who put wheels under this whole transit disaster: ain't karma wonderful! You pushed through the high-level design with the absolute highest requirement for operators - and now you won't get to operate it!!!

I hope we can retain Andy Byford during all this mess. Perhaps he can be convinced to jump ship to the new organization, and he will no longer be forced to hide silently behind the skirts of his boss. Let's never forget: “My personal preference would have been to have a subway."

If not, perhaps we can convince him to run for Council. Andy Byford for TTC Chair!!!

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted September 20, 2012 at 18:01:37

(Desperately praying for Metrolinx coup at HSR)

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 20, 2012 at 19:17:06 in reply to Comment 81113

Does Metrolinx know we even exist??

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By randomguy (anonymous) | Posted September 20, 2012 at 18:49:20

Hopefully this happens for the Hamilton LRT. Driving an LRT is way simpler than a bus, at least from my observations in Dresden, so no need to pay them a premium and thus even better operating costs compared to bus service.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 21, 2012 at 13:19:09 in reply to Comment 81114

But will the operators still be allowed to put on the 4-way flashers on the LRT so they can run into Hortons?? These are the big questions.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted September 20, 2012 at 21:44:40

This is really about the presto pass and the slow dismantling of the TTC. Since HSR has adopted the presto pass they are safe.

On another note can anyone tell me a project that Infrastructure Ontario has completed at this point. Seems they are really in the business of taking control.

Comment edited by rednic on 2012-09-20 21:45:15

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