Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, Kathleen Wynne today announced that the Province of Ontario had approved Metrolinx’ “5 in 10 plan” to build five transit projects in ten years.
The 5 in 10 Plan proposes building the “Big Five” transit projects by 2020, while saving $4 billion in the first five years of the timeline that Metrolinx originally proposed.
By approving the plan, the Province also allows Metrolinx to sign a contract with Bombardier Inc. to buy light rail vehicles for the TTC to operate along four of Toronto’s Transit City light rail transit (LRT) lines: the Sheppard East, Eglinton Crosstown and Etobicoke - Finch West LRTs and the Scarborough rapid transit line, after the City of Toronto and TTC have extended the line and converted it to light rail.
In November, 2008, after two years of consulting with the public and developing a plan, Metrolinx released “The Big Move”, its regional transportation plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
The Big Move identified 15 priority transportation projects across the region. Metrolinx has already committed funds and work has started on several of these projects:
- extending the Spadina leg of the TTC’s 1 Yonge - University - Spadina subway through York University to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre;
- building a dedicated busway along Highway 403 in Mississauga; and
- linking Toronto Pearson International Airport and Union Station by rail.
On April 1, 2009, the Province of Ontario announced that it was investing $9.5 billion — the largest transit investment in Canadian history — in five top projects from the list of 15 priorities in “The Big Move”:
- four Transit City light rail transit lines in Toronto, totaling $8.15 billion; and
- the Viva bus rapid transit lines in York Region, totaling $1.35 billion.
In March, 2010, the provincial budget re-affirmed the Province’s plan to invest $9.5 billion in the Big 5 projects and committed it to covering any future costs of escalation, probably amounting to another $2.78 billion. However, since the global recession was constraining public finances, the Province also directed Metrolinx to revise its work plan to build the lines in stages, deferring $4 billion in expenses from the first five years into future years.
On May 19, 2010, the Metrolinx Board of Directors unanimously approved the “5 in 10 Plan”. The plan met the province’s cash flow constraints, while extending all five projects’ end date from eight years to ten.
You can see a map of the “5 in 10” plan for the Big Five projects — and four other transit projects — here. (.pdf)