The Metrolinx Board met on June 27 with a full agenda.
There is a great deal of duplication between various reports, and I have consolidated information to keep like items together. Some reports are omitted entirely from this article either because the important info is included elsewhere, or because they simply rehash status updates with no real news. Metrolinx has a love for “good news” to the point that each manager stuffs their presentations with information that is already well known, or which parallels other presentations.
Among the more important items in these reports are the following:
- Metrolinx is now conducting various studies all of which bear on the problem of north-south capacity into downtown Toronto. This involves the (Downtown) Relief Line, the north-south GO corridors and the Richmond Hill subway expansion. A related study involves fare and service integration across the GTHA. It is refreshing to see Metrolinx taking a network approach to planning, rather than looking at projects in isolation, and recognizing that some of their own, existing routes can be part of an overall approach to solving this capacity problem.
- The Metrolinx Five-Year Strategy includes dates for the beginning of service on various projects including the LRT replacement for the Scarborough RT. Previous versions of these dates cited “by 2020”, and Metrolinx has indicated a desire for as short a construction/shutdown period of under three years. However, the new strategy paper talks of an “in service date” of 2020. Metrolinx is aiming for a three year shutdown at most, but the SRT might continue operating beyond the originally planned September 2015 date, possibly for one additional year. This could lead to an earlier reopening than 2020. (Correspondence from Metrolinx on this issue is included later in the article.)