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Cost of York-Spadina subway budget overrun is unknown: TTC chair

Coun. Josh Colle says council will need to spend more money if it wants line open in fall of 2016
March 9, 2015
By Bruce Reeve

The chair of the TTC said he doesn’t know how over-budget the York-Spadina subway extension is, which is a problem for city councillors who will have to decide how much more they’re willing to spend to get the project completed.

Coun. Josh Colle said the subway extension project needs a "reset," and he’s hoping a March 26 report will provide some clarity as to where the city stands and what its options are.

When asked exactly how over-budget the project is, Colle responded: “We don’t know, which is troubling in itself.”

“If we want to come close to the publicly stated timeline of opening the line, then it’s going to cost more money,” Colle told CBC Radio's Metro Morning.

Colle called a Toronto Star report that pegged the cost overrun at $400-million erroneous. He said council could choose to limit the amount of money it spends on the subway line - which is set to add a six-stop 8.6-kilometre link from Downsview Station to York University - depending on how long it's willing to wait for the subway, Colle said.

The city initially promised the York-Spadina extension would be open in fall of 2016.

Last week, mayor John Tory told reporters he was “furious” about the cost and time overruns related to the project. A report in the Toronto Star said the project is $400 million over budget.

Colle said almost everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong on the project. There was a serious delay after a worker died at the job site, there are “strained relationships” between contractors and the TTC and Colle also suggested there may be a problem with the way the transit agency is managing the project.

However, Colle did report that the tunnelling work is done and the city may be “closer than we think” to getting some service going on the line.