Metrolinx Board Wrapup for May 2010

The Metrolinx Board met on Wednesday, May 19 for an unusually long public session.  Rather than post separate articles, herewith a compendium report.  The major topics are:

  • The Board Speaks!
  • The Managing Director Reports
  • We Have A Vision, We Just Don’t Know What It Is Yet
  • Achieving 5 in 10, or Transit City Rescheduled
  • GO Rail Service Expansion Benefits Cases
  • A Question of Advocacy

The Board Speaks!

Probably the most astounding thing about this meeting, the first anniversary of the “new” Metrolinx, is that the Board members finally found their voices.  I was beginning to wonder if they were ever going to show some indication of earning their keep and actually asking hard questions of staff in public.  We’re not quite there yet, but at least the discussion gave an indication that the Board is thinking about its role.

As regular readers will know, I believe that organizations such as Metrolinx should be publicly accountable through an electoral process and through direct access to one’s representatives.  Boards that answer to nobody but the government which appointed them, and entertain no criticism from the public, can leave much to be desired.

To be fair to Metrolinx, even when it had a political board, much of the “public participation” was managed to achieve concensus with, more or less, what Metrolinx planned to do anyhow.  That other well-known transit board, the TTC, is elected, but has succumbed to the disease of being cheerleaders for the organization right-or-wrong.

Metrolinx has not had to actually do much (as opposed to GO Transit which was simply merged into its new “parent”), and we have yet to see how the Board and the Government will react if Metrolinx badly fouls up any of its projects.

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