The Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto have come to an agreement when it comes to uploading the TTC subway system.
The two sides will form a joint group to examine an arrangement that could include the province taking over ownership and delivery of future projects, but not being responsible for the entire subway system.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek said the Ontario government will now be in charge of subway infrastructure, while the city and the TTC will remain in charge of day-to-day operations.
“As a government, we are turning priorities into real projects and get the job done. We know that a lack of transit infrastructure and traffic congestion are costing money, jobs and time,” Yurek said in a statement.
“The signing of the Terms of Reference between the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto signals a shared interest to improve subway service, build more transit projects, to expand, and integrate the regional network and get people moving.”
The agreement also says the group will look at the possibility of the province only assuming responsibility for the delivery of future projects, and not owning those assets or completing a full subway upload.
Mayor John Tory said he expects a full report to council on the discussions between the city and the province, “at the appropriate time.”
“I continue to firmly believe that any actions taken with regard to our subway system need to be in the best interests of the people of Toronto, including transit riders and employees, and that Toronto must be completely involved and fully consulted as Premier Ford previously indicated would be the case,” Tory said in a statement.
“City Council gave the City Manager clear direction in December that subject to clear conditions, the City’s participation in this exercise is the best way to protect our TTC system.”
Premier Doug Ford campaigned on the promise of fully uploading the city’s subway to the province, which the group will also look into.
In a statement, Ford said he was “very happy” with the agreement made with the city.
“Necessary maintenance and investment in the subway system has been put off for too long. We’ve also been waiting far too long for subway expansions. New subway construction has been stuck in red tape, for years. It’s time to take action and speed things up,” the statement read.
“That’s why I’m very happy we’ve agreed with the City of Toronto on a joint Terms of Reference which has, at its core, shared objectives and principles, to guide a discussion about how the two levels of government can best work together to achieve them. We have committed to a deliberate, fact-based conversation with the City on our upload plan.”
“These Terms of Reference will help guide our next steps and steer the consultation process with the City and the TTC on uploading the subway infrastructure from the City of Toronto, including the building and maintenance of new and existing subway lines,” the statement continued.
“With an upload, our government can cut through red tape to start new projects and finish construction faster. We are improving how transit is built in Ontario to get Ontarians moving. We will build a world-class transit system that everyone in Ontario can be proud of.”
The province claims that its takeover of TTC subway infrastructure would speed up the implementation of priority expansion projects, like the downtown relief line.
TTC subway upload agreement by on Scribd
With files from The Canadian Press