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Mayor 'furious' about cost overruns, delays in subway extension project
March 6, 2015
By Josh Dehaas

Mayor John Tory says he is “furious” that the subway extension to York University and Vaughan is suffering from major delays and cost overruns.

He was reacting to a Toronto Star report that said the already-over-budget project may add another $400-million of costs, and that trains won’t be running until 2017.

“Clearly there has not been the discipline, the management or the proper communication of what has been going on with regard to these projects,” he said.

“Today we're talking about the York Spadina subway, but the fact is, over the years we have lurched from one fiasco to another, costing taxpayers millions of dollars,” he added.

The exact details of progress on the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension will be made public after the TTC board meets later this month.

Coun. Josh Colle, chair of the TTC, says that cost overruns are an alarming trend for the agency.

“I am calling for an independent third party review on all of the TTC’s capital programs,” he said. “I think that is long overdue.”

The mayor said cost overruns are a problem for the city and not just the TTC. He pointed to Union Station’s renovation as another example.

“We can’t go on this way,” he added. “Once the budget is approved, I will be turning my attention more completely to the way this place really works on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

The TTC’s final project cost for the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension is estimated at $2.6-billion, according to its website, which does not reflect the reported cost overruns.

Of that $2.6-billion, the Government of Canada has committed $697 million, the Province of Ontario has provided $870 million, Toronto has agreed to spend $526 million and York Region will contribute $352 million.

The report also suggested the subway won’t open until 2017. Trains were originally supposed to be running this fall, while the TTC has already admitted fall of 2016 is the earliest possible.

Some have suggested the city partially open the line as far as York University instead of waiting until the entire project is complete.

The Toronto-York Spadina subway extension will add six stations to Line 1 between Downsview Station and Highway 7 in Vaughan.

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