Updated October 4, 2012 at 9:20 am:
Mr reaction to the announcement yesterday that TTC would remain as “operator” of the LRT lines is on the Torontoist website.
Although the TTC sees this as a “good news” story, I am less impressed because Toronto is still very much the junior partner. We get to drive the trains, and that’s about all. With all maintenance remaining in the hands of Metrolinx private partner, whoever that will eventually be, this is a big step in outsourcing transit operations.
Updated October 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm:
The Toronto Star reports that discussions continue between Metrolinx, the City of Toronto and the TTC regarding the possible operation of the planned LRT lines by the TTC rather than a private contractor.
Exactly how much “operation” would entail is not mentioned, although the TTC is known to be concerned about responsibility for safety-sensitive systems such as vehicle, signal and track maintenance.
A related issue is the amount of detail that must be worked out before a master contract is let by Infrastructure Ontario. If the private work ends when operation begins (with possible exceptions such as building and station maintenance), then this is a much simpler contract to draft than one that would require all of the details of future operations to be bundled with a design and construction contract.
Whether Queen’s Park and Metrolinx are aware of or care about the delay inherent in needing to specify so much detail so far in advance for a single contract remains to be seen.
September 21, 2012
My thoughts on recent announcements that Metrolinx would completely take over the LRT projects formerly part of Transit City are in an article on the Torontoist website.