Province moving forward with Ontario Line, but no word on timeline
Government says project would create thousands of jobs as province recovers from COVID-19
The province announced Tuesday that it is moving ahead with the Ontario Line subway plan, but any mention of the project's target completion date was notably absent.
In a press release issued Tuesday, the province said it is issuing the first two public-private partnership requests for qualifications (RFQ) to identify the groups that will design, build and maintain the subway line.
The line will be built under three separate contracts, the province noted.
"Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government is taking historic steps to expand subway service and reduce traffic congestion across the GTA," said Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney in a statement.
"By issuing these first RFQs we are one step closer to realizing our transit vision and helping to generate economic activity and create tens of thousands of jobs as the province recovers from COVID-19."
But any information about when the project would now be finished was missing from the province's release. Officials had initially said the Ontario Line would be finished by 2027.
When asked if the target completion date of 2027 had changed, provincial spokesperson Christina Salituro said the "commercial landscape has changed dramatically and has been exacerbated by COVID-19.
"The market's response to … procurements will ultimately inform the timeline for opening the Ontario Line. Our government remains committed to getting shovels in the ground as quickly as possible," said Salituro, who is the senior manager of legislative affairs and issues management in the office of the minister of transportation.
The 15.5 kilometre Ontario Line is set to run from Exhibition Place to the Ontario Science Centre.
Plans include connections to GO Transit, the TTC, and the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit line.