Understanding TTC Project Cost Creep

The recent TTC meeting saw Commissioner Minnan-Wong digging into questions about rising costs on two TTC projects, the design of Finch West Station and the resignalling of the south end of the Yonge subway.

Reports asking for increased spending authorization come through the Commission quite regularly, and Minnan-Wong has raised the question of “out of control spending” at Council on past occasions.  Just to declare my political leanings, I have never been a fan of the Councillor, even though there are certainly legitimate questions to be asked when project costs rise unexpectedly.

Unfortunately, Minnan-Wong tends to approach these issues as if someone is trying to pull the wool over his eyes and implies outright incompetence as the starting point for discussion.  This approach brings more confrontation than information.  Let’s have a look at the two projects in question and consider how information about them (and their many kin in the overall budget) might be better presented.

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