Tory defends $900M price hike for Scarborough subway extension
Mayor confirmed Friday that the cost for the Scarborough Town Centre stop is now $2.9B
The cost of the Scarborough subway extension has jumped by $900 million, but Mayor John Tory says the project will go ahead because, despite the cost overruns, "the money is there."
Tory confirmed the cost hike at a news conference Friday morning, when he put the cost at $2.9 billion. That's $900 million more than the $2 billion he pegged the project at earlier this year.
The project was supposed to be a three-stop extension, and would have cost more than $4 billion, Tory noted Friday, up from the original $3.56 billion estimate.
However, council voted earlier this year to scale back the Scarborough subway plan to one stop at Scarborough Town Centre.
"Frankly, it's wise we decided not to do that. We are proceeding with a subway costing $2.9 billion, paid for out of the money that has been made available by all three levels of government," Tory said.
As part of the council vote approving the single-stop plan, council also approved the 17-stop light-rail system along Eglinton Avenue East to the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus.
Coun. Glenn de Baeremaeker (Ward 38 – Scarborough Centre) defended the Scarborough subway extension on Friday, despite dramatically revised ridership projections that suggest far fewer riders may be using the Scarborough Town Centre stop.
In 2013, when the city was looking at the three-stop proposal, council was told that stop would see as many as 14,000 passengers per hour at peak times by 2031. In January of this year, when the three stops were reduced to one, that same peak time projection was adjusted to 11,100 passengers per hour.
That number was revised earlier this month to 7,300 passengers per hour.
De Baeremaeker said Friday that the new Scarborough stop will be twice as busy as Union Station was when it first opened, when it's per-hour ridership peaked at 3,200 people.