In what must be the most anti-climactic news on the planet, Phil Verster, Metrolinx President and CEO, has announced that the Eglinton Crosstown Line 5 will not open as planned. I will let Metrolinx speak for themselves.
Statement regarding the Eglinton Crosstown LRT
Sept. 23, 2022
Today, Metrolinx President & CEO Phil Verster issued the following statement:
We had expected the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to be fully built, thoroughly tested, and in service this fall in accordance with our project agreement with Crosslinx Transit Solutions, the construction consortium responsible for building the project.
Unfortunately, while progress has been made, Crosslinx Transit Solutions have fallen behind schedule, are unable to finalize construction and testing, and therefore the system will not be operational on this timeline.
We know construction has been difficult for commuters, communities, and businesses along the Eglinton corridor. We are doing everything to hold Crosslinx Transit Solutions accountable and to redouble efforts to meet their commitments and complete the work quickly so we can welcome riders onto a complete, tested, and fully operational Eglinton Crosstown LRT as soon as possible.Source: Metrolinx Blog
Anyone who has followed the construction project, to the degree it is visible at street level, would have trouble believing the line would be ready in 2022. Only a week ago, the project’s Twitter account announced that they had just finished structural steel at Eglinton Station. This is nowhere near the same as putting the last touch of paint on a building.
The TTC budgeted for a first quarter 2023 startup with training in advance, but that date sounds iffy considering Verster made no mention of a handover date from the builder, let along commissioning and opening the line.
If only Metrolinx were less secretive, less inclined to give us only “good news”, there would be more trust in their breathless announcements for all projects, not just Eglinton.
The key question, however, is not “when will it open”, but “how long has Metrolinx known”.