A subway extension to Scarborough is going to cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and it’s coming at a price: the government is getting out of the way.
The government says it’ll put money aside to cover the project’s $1.8-billion price tag.
“We’re going to take a look at it,” Transport Minister Steven Del Duca told reporters on Friday.
“It’s a big project, and we have to make sure that the money is put into the right places.”
Transport Minister Del Ducas says the government will put money into Scarborough subway.
(CBC News) Del Ducah said the government wants to put money in the right place, and the money will come from a $5.8 billion transportation and infrastructure fund, a $1-billion contingency fund and a $250-million reserve.
The reserve will come out of a contingency fund for the Scarborough transit system, and will be used to pay for other infrastructure projects, such as the $10.2-billion Scarborough Light Rail Transit line.
Del Ducais said that money will be spent to complete the Scarborough Subway Extension project, including funding the construction of the Scarborough Rapid Transit Line, which would extend the subway from Scarborough Town Centre to the airport and other downtown areas.
Del, like many of his colleagues, is trying to get the subway extension completed in time for the 2017 municipal election.
“The Scarborough subway is the only subway that I have to worry about in the City of Toronto,” said Del Ducsays.
“This is a project that needs to happen, and so we are looking at every possible option.”
Del Ducasse said the Scarborough project has a $8-million contingency fund, which will be paid for by other transportation and public transit funding.
The Scarborough subway, as proposed, would extend from the Scarborough Town Center station, through Scarborough Town and the Scarborough Transitway, and then through Scarborough, down the Don Valley Parkway, and into Scarborough.
Del said the subway is scheduled to be operational in 2021.
The $1,000-million Scarborough subway will replace the Scarborough LRT.
(Subway Spokesperson Joe Sakakic) The subway extension would replace the Toronto Transit Commission’s Scarborough LIFT, which was completed in 2012.
Delucas said the LIFT was completed on time and on budget.
“A lot of people said it was a bad deal for the taxpayers, but they had a very good deal,” he said.
“And I think what they’re saying is, ‘We paid a lot for that train, so why are we paying a lot more for this subway?’
I think that’s where we are.”
The Scarborough extension is expected to cost $1 billion.
(Scarborough Metrolinx) The Scarborough Subway extension is also expected to require a total of $3.9 billion in funding from municipalities and municipalities, including a $3-billion contribution from the province, and $1 million from the city.
Del says the city has been given the go-ahead to begin construction on the subway line in 2019.
The city is expected pay the cost of the project by 2018.
Del told reporters the subway would cost more than that.
“I think we’re going into that cost, but we’re expecting that cost to be more than what we’re asking for, because of the cost associated with the LRT and the TTC, and what we are anticipating for the subway,” he told reporters.
“What I would say is we are not going to have to wait until 2021 for the extension, because we are going to get it done.”
The subway project is one of several transportation and transit projects the government has put forward to fund the Scarborough Regional Municipality.
Del’s announcement comes as the government prepares to announce a major spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
It includes an expansion of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, which is responsible for affordable housing for low-income residents.
Del also announced a new regional development fund that will be allocated to the regional municipality’s economic development strategy.
In a news release, the government said the regional development plan will focus on “the revitalization of communities, creating jobs and fostering growth.”
The regional development agency will be able to use the money to develop new housing units and build a new hospital.