This page is archived and no longer maintained. For updates click here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

So, how is Metrolinx doing?

Currently, the Ontario Government funds two agencies responsible for rail: the ONTC and Metrolinx. The government's desire to divest the ONTC is apprently justified by the perception that the services are a bottomless money pit that no amount of subsidy can possibly fill.  Metrolinx, however, is lauded as being a model transportation agency, with new routes and services being announced every month.  The latest report from Ontario's Auditor General sees Metrolinx in a slightly less rosy light.

It seems that Metrolinx isn't as cost-effective as the government would like it to be.  PRESTO, the new smart card system, is one of the most expensive in the world and is expected to cost over $700 million.  The system, which is designed to offer seamless transfers between transit systems, won't be fully implemented in the TTC network until 2016, one year after the Pan-Am Games.  The renovation of Union Station is over budget and will cost more than $270 million.  Track improvements at the station are also proving costly, with the final bill expected to be $38 million.  The rail link to Pearson Airport, slated to open in time for the 2015 Pan-Am Games, is likely to need more subsidies as the report suggests that ridership will be lower than expected.

It is nearly impossible to run a public transit system without subsidies, but this report also shows just how unrealistic the government's two-tier system is.  Metrolinx and the ONTC both need subsidies, yet the ONTC is somehow less worthy of them.  Compared to Metrolinx, the ONTC serves a very small group of people, but the service is minimal at best.  In the densely-populated Toronto Area, Metrolinx provides a variety of improving services to millions of people, it seems with infinite capital available when it is needed.  The north-south divide is clear. News - Ontario may write off $1.4B in unpaid taxes, AG says

No comments:

Post a Comment