Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Toronto LRT operations plan is clarified

Written by 

Toronto Transit Commission officials and others Wednesday announced that TTC, not a private company, will operate the four new light rail transit additions planned for Canada's largest city, though a private-sector company will maintain the infrastructure once it is in place.

TTC Chairwoman Karen Stintz was joined by TTC CEO Andy Byford, Ontario Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli, and Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig to announce an agreement between the TTC and Metrolinx on the operation and maintenance of the planned new lines.

TTC will operate the lines, as it operates Toronto's current LRT/streetcar system, while Metrolinx's private sector partner will maintain the assets, according to a press release.

The announcement to a degree countered earlier reports that a private-sector operator would be selected for both maintenance and operations. It also surprised some local and/or rail-related observers tracking the ongoing, if subdued, friction between TTC and Metrolinx over policy and planning issues, as well as operations. Metrolinx, formed in 2006, oversees transportation development in the Greater Toronto Area, including TTC and GO Transit.

"We have always been committed to building in an operating role for the Toronto Transit Commission, subject to finalizing the terms and conditions of the commercial arrangements," Metrolinx's McCuaig said. "Today's agreement in principle allows Metrolinx to achieve its objectives of building longterm maintenance in the alternative financing procurement process while establishing an operational role for the TTC."