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Metrolinx making ‘relentless progress’ on Eglinton LRT but still no opening date

Click to play video: 'Transportation Minister weighs in on LRT delays'
Transportation Minister weighs in on LRT delays
WATCH: Transportation Minister weighs in on LRT delays – Dec 11, 2023

Ontario’s provincial transit agency says it is making “relentless progress” to finish the years-delayed Eglinton Crosstown LRT in Toronto but still has no opening date.

Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster said Monday that the line was still edging to completion, with the transit agency working through a list of ongoing teething issues with the near-finished project that has not been made public.

“April (to) May was a really crucial month for us,” Verster said.

He said a new software patch helped smooth out issues with the signalling and train control system, which had been the “main hurdle” to training drivers to operate the system.

The latest update fixed a “huge number” of “safety defects and operational defects” with the line, Verster said.

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The improvement to the software issues means that more trainers are now being put through their paces, with the province moving to staff up the light rail line before it can open. Metrolinx plans to train 95 transit drivers to operate the Eglinton Crosstown LRT when it opens.

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“The two critical parts now is training the crews of the TTC and the documentation,” Verster continued. “Once that gets us to a place where we are confident that we can forecast an opening date, we will do so three months before opening for customer service.”

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT has been without an official opening date for years, with Metrolinx only promising to announce one three months before the line begins to carry customers.

The precise reasons for the ongoing delays to the route have not been disclosed.

In the first half of 2023, Metrolinx said there were 260 ongoing issues with the line that needed to be fixed. A request from Global News for a list of those issues was declined, along with one for monthly status reports sent to the transit agency by the consortium building the line.

Metrolinx had promised regular briefings on the line’s progress but has not held a formal update since December.

Despite the issues — many of which have not been shared with the public — Verster said the project was moving forward.

“We are making relentless progress,” Verster said.

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