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Less money for transit projects in Ontario budget

When Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan announced the Government of Ontario’s budget yesterday, he also revealed that he was trimming as much as $4 billion from transit infrastructure projects over the next five years.

That means that Metrolinx will likely postpone construction on several projects in the Transit City plan, although it will let projects that have already begun to proceed.

The government and Metrolinx still need to figure out which projects they will delay, but some provincial officials suggest that the province would likely allow the City of Toronto and TTC to build eastern end of the Harbourfront light rail line. They also acknowledged that Metrolinx could delay parts of the Transit City light rail network well beyond 2020, as it funds construction of the lines one after another, instead of funding several lines at the same time.

According to the National Post, provincial staff said $8-billion of new rail and bus line infrastructure is in various stages of planning across the Greater Toronto Area, so only half of it will need to be delayed. Four projects that could be put on hold: the Eglinton, Scarborough and Finch LRT lines in Toronto — all part of Transit City — and the Viva bus rapid transit system in York Region.

Work will continue on building the Sheppard East light rail line, extending the Spadina subway and improving GO Transit’s Georgetown corridor, which will allow for a Pearson-to-Union Station express link.

Potential Transit City lines such as Jane and Don Mills, which were further off on the horizon, looked yesterday to have moved further away still.

Read what Steve Munro thinks of government’s announcement here.

From the Transit Toronto newspaper article clippings archives, read:

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