Verster: Eglinton Crosstown will open as a complete line

Oct. 5, 2020
The president and CEO of Metrolinx brushed off reports that the transformative project would open without a complete Eglinton Station.

Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster took to the agency’s blog to quell discussion that the long-anticipated Eglinton Crosstown light-rail transit (LRT) project would open with 24 stations rather than 25.  

“Any suggestion, like the one made in the Moody’s Credit Opinion, that the line could be considered ready to open without the ability for passengers to get on or off at the flagship station at Yonge and Eglinton, where tens of thousands of passengers will transfer on a daily basis between the Eglinton Crosstown and the [Toronto Transit Commission] Line 1 Subway, is completely a distraction and is not in line with the obligations [Crosslinx Transit Solutions] took on when it signed the contract.”

Last week, a report originating in Moody’s suggested the 19-kilometer (11.8-mile) LRT project could open for service minus the Eglinton Station. The suggestion to open the line prior to the completion of the Eglinton Station had not been agreed to by Metrolinx when it went public. The opening of the line has been delayed until 2022. However, Verster made clear where he believes responsibility for the delay rests.

“Transit projects are delivered on-time when the contractor achieves the production rates they committed to and only through the proper management of their own logistics and operations. In the case of Eglinton Crosstown, our building partner, Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS), has not achieved necessary production rates to maintain the original project schedule that they committed to in their bid,” explained Verster.

He noted that Metrolinx is disappointed the project is late and recognized the extended construction period has been difficult for businesses and communities along the Eglinton Crosstown’s route.

“Metrolinx is focused on ensuring that CTS fully meets its obligations to deliver a system as soon as possible – a system that is complete, fully tested and ready to provide high quality, safe and reliable service to our customers,” said Verster.

While Verster noted the project remains on budget, he said it is critical for CTS to provide a plan laying out a timeframe of when the entire scope of the contracted project will be delivered.

“It is imperative that CTS now focuses on getting the project completed, including Eglinton Station, to the highest quality standards,” Verster said.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.