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Metrolinx board approves the "5 in 10" plan,
revising Transit City and Viva projects

The Metrolinx board of directors today approved a revised plan to complete shorter versions of the “Big Five” transit projects over ten years, instead of eight. Metrolinx will now present the revised project plan for the Government of Ontario to approve.

According to Robert Prichard, the president and chief executive officer of Metrolinx, the plan means that, “within a month, projects worth $7 billion of the $9.5 billion will be underway. This is the largest public transit investment in Canadian history and we need to get going now.”

In April 2009, the Province of Ontario announced $9.5 billion for the projects, which include York Region’s Viva bus rapid transit lines and three of Toronto’s Transit City light rail lines — Sheppard East, Etobicoke - Finch West and Eglinton - Crosstown. The “5 in 10 plan” also includes a project to extend the current Scarborough rapid transit line and convert it to light rail.

The 2010 Ontario budget committed to fully funding all five projects, including costs that rose because of inflation, but asked Metrolinx to develop a plan to reduce the funding for these projects in the first five years by $4 billion. Metrolinx says the “5 in 10 plan” achieves this goal — building the five projects by 2020, while saving $4 billion in the first five years.

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