Mayor John Tory is "furious" over cost and time overruns on the construction of the York-Spadina subway extension and he is vowing a wholesale change in the way the city operates.
The TTC’s unfinished 8.6-kilometre subway extension from Downsview Station to York University and beyond to Vaughan is over budget, Tory said in a news conference at city hall on Friday afternoon. According to a report in the Toronto Star, the project is approximately $400-million over budget and possibly two years off-schedule.
A full report on the progress of construction of the subway line is due March 26. However, Tory said he was given a verbal summary of a report by TTC CEO Andy Byford, which mentioned the overruns.
"The fact is, over the years we have lurched from one fiasco to the other," he said. "Suffice it to say, alongside the people of Toronto, I am furious this happens over and over again."
He said he finds it curious that other city projects like sewer grate replacement and fixing water drains are completed on budget and schedule. "There is likely a clue or two there," said Tory.
Tory said once his budget is approved, he is going to tackle the problem of the mismanagement of projects.
"I'll be seeking to chart a new course, which will change things," he said.
Who is responsible?
TTC chair Josh Colle echoed the mayor's sentiment. He called for an independent third party review on all capital projects taken on by the TTC.
Colle said he wanted to "find a way to stop the bleeding."
However, both Tory and Colle said they were unaware of what problems the extension faced until recently. They had only been given a verbal summary of a report that details the overruns.
"To hold me responsible for any of this," said Tory, "would be patently unfair."
Tory was asked why no city officials are ever dismissed over projects that go over budget and schedule.
"I think that's a darn good question," said the mayor.
Tory did not say how much it would cost to get the extension back on track or how long it would take to be completed.