TORONTO – Toronto will receive provincial funding for a Scarborough subway and can decide its own route, Metrolinx said in a letter Wednesday.
In a letter to the city, the provincial agency said the city will receive $1.48-billion in funding and it is up to council to approve a route for the Scarborough subway.
It would be up to taxpayers to cover any gaps in funding.
“Since the Scarborough subway is an extension of the current Bloor-Danforth subway owned and operated by the TTC, the subway extension will be a city/TTC project, not Metrolinx’s,” the letter said.
“Toronto and the TTC will be responsible for the delivery of the project in terms of providing the balance of the estimated capital construction cost and assuming any risk of delivering the project to budget and to schedule. In addition, ongoing operating and maintenance costs will be the responsibility of the City of Toronto.”
The letter also said that the environmental assessment should consider all potential routes.
TTC CEO Andy Byford said the letter provided clarity ahead of next week’s council meeting.
“One of the question marks was: would the provincial money still be available for the subway option if it was not the province’s preferred subway option?”
“They’ve confirmed that even if it’s the McCowan Road option that money is still available and I think that’s helpful.”
Byford said it is good to see government funding public transit.
“I’m progressively going to be spending more time going to Ottawa, going to Queen’s Park, to really bang the table for fair funding for the TTC,” he said.
But he said the important thing is to finally get on with construction.
“Most Torontonians are fed up with all the talk and no action so we’re very keen to inform the debate, make sure councillors know what the options are, get as much funding as we can and get started on the best option,” he said.