In a previous article, I reviewed the history of the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE). This project has been widely reported to be both late and over budget, but details only began to emerge on March 20, 2015 when TTC CEO Andy Byford fired two senior members of the engineering staff.
On March 21, 2015, Byford presented a briefing to the media as a preview of a report to be discussed by the TTC Board on March 26, 2015. This report includes both current information on the project and an October 2012 update that was issued when the TYSSE deadline was shifted to fall 2016.
The key points of the briefing were:
- The earliest possible opening date for the TYSSE to Vaughan is the end of 2017.
- Relations between TTC project management and the various contractors working on the TYSSE are badly strained, and this cannot be remedied by those now in charge.
- Byford recommends that the TTC “retain a third party project-management firm as an incentivized project manager” (the terms of the proposed arrangement are confidential pending execution of the agreement).
- Alternate schemes for continuing the TYSSE project with TTC staff in part or all of this role will extend the period needed to resolve outstanding issues and reach project completion, and will increase total project costs.
- Additional funding to keep the project active to the end of 2017 of $150-million is required with Toronto paying $90m and York Region paying $60m. Toronto’s share could come from a TTC operating surplus in 2015 (mistakenly cited as “2014” in the report), property sales and/or deferral of projects. There is no word on how York Region might fund its share of the extra costs.
- The project is subject to many claims by contractors against the TTC, and some counterclaims on the TTC’s part. The eventual value of settling these is unknown, and this is a potential additional cost beyond the $150m. Whether this can be accommodated by the existing project budget remains to be seen.