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Metrolinx CEO says ‘software wrinkles’ among outstanding Eglinton Crosstown issues

Click to play video: 'Eglinton Crosstown LRT still without opening date, Metrolinx ‘not going to guess’'
Eglinton Crosstown LRT still without opening date, Metrolinx ‘not going to guess’
RELATED: Years after it was due to open, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT remains without an opening date and the Metrolinx CEO is refusing to speculate on when it could open. Pressed by reporters, Phil Verster said he did not even want to guess what year the project might enter service. Matthew Bingley was part of a group that toured one of the route's stations and has the latest in the ongoing saga – Dec 8, 2023

The head of Ontario’s provincial transit agency says construction teams are making “really good progress” on the years-delayed Eglinton Crosstown LRT but that there are still “wrinkles” to be sorted out.

Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster said physical construction is “significantly completed” as teams continue to build the light rail line in Toronto.

Speaking as the province unveiled its fare integration program for Toronto, Verster said he was now most concerned about the software that will help run the trains.

“The bit I’m worried about is the signalling and train control system, which needs a couple of software releases to iron out — let’s call it — software wrinkles that’ll get the system to the right place,” he said.

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is without an opening date and several years behind schedule.

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In 2023, Verster announced the project had no credible timeline to open or opening date and said hundreds of testing issues were plaguing the line.

As of last spring, he said there were as many as 260 issues with the line.

In late November, Verster said he would not reveal an opening date for the system until three months before it was due to open. Some recent progress on the project includes more permits to open stations, advances in the testing process and the reopening of the Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue intersection.

During a tour of the Yonge and Eglinton station, Verster told reporters that it was a “good start” to see around 10 trains running along the tracks. He said 20 to 30 would need to run once the line is ready for public use.

“The progress is there,” Verster insisted on Monday.

A spokesperson for the provincial government said testing and commissioning work — which is “well underway” — would ultimately determine the light rail route’s opening date.

“We are all hard at work to bring this program to a close  and we won’t guess beforehand,” Verster added on Monday.

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