The Ontario Transportation Minister says that the TTC metro system is overwhelming and it is "desirable" to assure assistance in the service before a new extension to Richmond Hill.
Jeff Yurek's comments are the closest that he has recognized the superiority of what the officials of Toronto said, is the city's most important transition, and to come, because the Ontario Progressive Conservative government is moving to take possession of the city railcar.
Last year, a city council passed a motion stating that the helpline should be operational before the proposed extension of Line 1 (Yonge University-Spadina) to Hwy. 7 in York Region enters service.
Yurek did not want to honor this decision and said there was no reason why the construction of both projects could not continue at the same time, but it signaled that he understood the importance of opening the replacement line first.
"It has a sense. It has a sense to make sure that Yonge's relief line works and works before the extension of Yonge built," he said in an interview in his office last week.
The first phase of the helpline would cost more than $ 6.8 billion and connect Kingdoms and Osgoode stations in the city center with Pape on the eastern end of Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth), taking pressure from Line 1. Line 1 regularly works up capacity, and the extension of Yonge, supported by PC political allies in York Region, would only add more riders.
Yurek is a three-parliament MPP for Elgin-Middlesex London, and was raised to the transport portfolio in the surprise cabinet of Premier Doug Ford being banned in early November. Before that, the 47-year-old of St. Thomas, Ont., Who owns a pharmacy, was the minister of natural resources.
Although he maintains a residence in his home riding, Yurek said he was traveling the TTC when he was in Toronto. "It's very crowded, especially during the pure hour," he said. "I really understand the need for improvements or reliefs."
Yurek paid worries at the city council last week when, in a speech to the Business Businesses in Toronto, he spoke of plans to expand the underground network to suburban communities in Durham, York and Peel, but did not mention the help.
In the interview, he rejected the idea that the plan of the province would take ownership of the subterranean sum to the suburban capture of the network that would distort the system in Toronto, saying whether existing lines are becoming too crowded ", which makes the whole system not to work to its best potential ".
Yurek also defended the government's proposal to use the TTC road to serve the suburbs outside of Toronto. Critics argue that the GO Transit network, which is already owned by the province, has been designed to serve these regions.
He said that after the subway of the meter, the province would use a mix of the TTC and the GO network to serve the entire Toronto and Hamilton Area. IR trains may work best in some contexts, he said, but in others "it has a sense of building upsets, either above or below ground."
The order given to the special adviser of the government on the upload plan states that, apart from the underground system, the province is considering taking ownership of "other strategic transport / transport assets in Toronto".
Yurek would not reveal what additional assets could be.
The minister denied accusations made by Ontario NDP and the largest TTC workers union that the Progressive Conservatives intend to privatize aspects of the underground system. "That's something I did not look at," he said, arguing that the province was simply better located than the city to plan, finance and build new underground lines, but would leave operations to the TTC.
The province plans to introduce legislation early next year, which would enable uploading, but Yurek said there would be negotiations with the city before any assets were relocated.
On Thursday, the minister sent a letter to mayor John Tory, seeking his written agreement for the city to enter into an agreement with an agreement with the province to promote the upload plan. Tory told the municipal administrator that he believes to participate, is the best way to protect the city's interests, but critics of the council said he should stone the province and not cooperate in anything that could lead to the province to take over the railway network. It is considered that the Council debates the issue on December 13.
After their election to win in June, the Conservatives inherited hostile expensive traffic projects of the former Liberal government. The new efforts to cut costs to deal with 15 billion deficits have led to speculation that some planned new lines will be canceled, including Finch West LRT, which is in the first stage of construction and opens in the northwestern Toronto in 2023.
Yurek said the government was carrying out a review of all major projects, and did not resign to terminate Finch.
In January, Metrolinx has already spent 236.3 million dollars in the light network, and broadcasting contracts with construction companies and vehicles will provide expensive financial sanctions for the government. Yurek said that cost would be a factor in the decision of Finch.
"We do not want to waste any money. We do not see decisions that will hurt the taxpayer," he said.
The Conservatives introduced legislation to give the transport minister more direct control over Metrolinx, which was established in 2006 as a weapon of the province. The proposed changes after the Star revealed in 2017 that Steven Del Duca's Liberal Transport Minister interfered with Metrolinx's plan to ensure two politically sensitive GO stations, including one in his own riding in Vaughan, which was not supported by Evidence.
Yurek said that the location of his hometown, about 90 kilometers from the nearest GO line, seemed to appear to be in such a sort of discussion.
"You know, that's the best thing about being from San Tomaso – I do not want to want a GO station or a meter in my riding," he said.
Ben Spurr is a Toronto-based reporter covering transportation. Come back by email at [email protected] or follow it on Twitter: @ BenSpurr