Province approves Metrolinx 5 in 10 Plan

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June 14, 2010

Metrolinx moves forward with $770 million purchase of Light Rail Vehicles from Bombardier, creating 4000 direct and indirect jobs, supporting public transit

TORONTO, June 14, 2010 /CNW/ - Metrolinx has received approval of its 5 in 10 Plan, which will see all of the Big 5 transit projects completed over the next 10 years. The Province's approval enables Metrolinx to sign a contract with Bombardier for the purchase of Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) for use on the new lines.

"We know that the Big 5 transit projects are integral to an economically vibrant and sustainable future for a part of the province which is expected to grow considerably over the coming decades," said Ontario Minister of Transportation, Kathleen Wynne. "The contract between Metrolinx and Bombardier demonstrates our commitment to public transit and job creation. Strategic infrastructure investments, like this, are all part of the McGuinty government's Open Ontario plan to create and support jobs today and build foundations for tomorrow."

Metrolinx's 5 in 10 Plan outlines a structure for building the Big 5 transit projects by 2020 while saving $4 billion in the first five years from the original timeline. A component of that Plan includes the purchase of 182 LRVs over ten years. These vehicles will serve the four provincially funded Light Rail Transit (LRT) projects in Toronto: the Sheppard East LRT, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, the Finch LRT and the Scarborough RT replacement/extension.

"Committing to buy these vehicles is a crucial milestone in realizing these four major rapid transit projects in Toronto," said J. Robert S. Prichard, President and CEO of Metrolinx. "We are making good progress on our plan. These vehicles are an essential step toward completing Metrolinx's 5 in 10 Plan and moving us significantly closer to realizing the full economic, social and environmental benefits of the Government's investments in public transit. This partnership is good for Ontario, good for Thunder Bay and good for Toronto, and we are very grateful for the Province's strong financial support which makes it possible."

The contract between Metrolinx and Bombardier is valued at $770 million, and includes an option to purchase up to 118 additional vehicles to a maximum of 300 LRVs in total. Bombardier's offer was evaluated by an independent consultant to ensure its market competitiveness.

"Bombardier is proud to be part of this very important expansion of public transit in Toronto and greatly appreciates the renewed confidence Metrolinx has placed in us," said Raymond Bachant, President, Bombardier Transportation, North America. "This order further solidifies our presence in Ontario and highlights Bombardier's proven state of the art light rail technology, which is available to all cities in North America."

Metrolinx is a Crown agency of the Province of Ontario. For more information, visit our website

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Metrolinx 5 in 10 Plan receives provincial approval and Metrolinx orders new light rail vehicles

June 14, 2009

The Big 5 Transit Projects

After two years of detailed consultation and development, Metrolinx completed The Big Move, its landmark Regional Transportation Plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), on November 28, 2008. The final plan brought together the input of local governments, transit experts and individual citizens, and was approved unanimously by the Metrolinx Board of Directors.

The Big Move identified 15 priority projects across the GTHA. Funding has been committed and work has begun on several of these: extending the Spadina subway through York University to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre; building a dedicated busway along the 403 in Mississauga; and, linking Pearson Airport and Union Station by rail in time for the Pan Am Games. The Big Move also identified improving Union Station as a priority action, and a major revitalization of this facility, Canada's busiest transportation hub, has also broken ground.

On April 1, 2009, the province announced the largest transit investment in Canadian history, $9.5 billion, to the "Big 5" priority projects drawn from The Big Move's top 15 list. The Big 5 are four light rail transit (LRT) lines in the City of Toronto totalling $8.15 billion, plus an investment of $1.35 billion in Viva bus rapid transit (BRT) improvements in York Region.

The four LRT lines run through nine of Toronto's thirteen "priority neighbourhoods."

The Metrolinx 5 in 10 Plan

On March 25 2010, the provincial budget reaffirmed the $9.5 billion investment in the Big 5 transit projects, and committed the Province to cover the future costs of escalation, estimated at a further $2.78 billion. However, in light of the global recession and constraints on public finances, the Province directed Metrolinx to develop a revised workplan that would stage construction schedules in both Toronto and York such that $4 billion in expenses could be deferred from the first five years into future years.

On May 19, 2010, the Metrolinx 5 in 10 Plan was presented publicly to the Metrolinx Board and unanimously approved. The Metrolinx plan met the province's cash flow constraints while only extending the final completion date of all five projects from eight years to ten.

The Board then submitted the plan to the province for final approval. On June 14, 2010, Minister of Transportation Kathleen Wynne announced that the Province has approved the Metrolinx 5 in 10 Plan and that all five projects will move forward.

The Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) Procurement Process

Following a competitive bidding process, on June 20, 2009 the TTC concluded an order for 204 new LRVs from Bombardier for use as streetcars on the "legacy network"-the existing collection of mostly on-street lines through downtown Toronto. These streetcars will eventually replace the existing fleet of streetcars, providing more modern amenities and offering full accessibility to passengers with disabilities. Included in that order was an option for a further 400 vehicles.

Beginning in fall 2009, Metrolinx, with the assistance of the TTC and the international transit vehicle expert LTK Engineering Services, evaluated its procurement alternatives for supplying LRVs for the four LRT lines in the Big 5. Metrolinx, with the support of its Board of Directors, concluded that negotiations with Bombardier to exercise the existing TTC contract option would obtain the best value for Ontario taxpayers. The TTC assigned its option to Metrolinx, and on April 12, 2010, Metrolinx announced it would enter into formal negotiations with Bombardier. At the time, Metrolinx indicated that if negotiations did not arrive at a satisfactory price, a new tender would be issued.

Metrolinx and Bombardier have since successfully concluded negotiations. Metrolinx has agreed to purchase 182 new LRVs, with an option for 118 more, at a price of $770 million(1). Based on the analysis of our independent rail equipment consultant, Metrolinx is convinced that this contract will obtain the highest-quality vehicles at a low cost for the taxpayer.

LRVs versus Streetcars

The Metrolinx LRV fleet will differ in several significant respects from the fleet intended for the TTC legacy network, while still offering numerous advantages in terms of potential for interchangeable components and maintenance practices.

The TTC replacement streetcar design has features which reflect on-street operations on an older track network in a tight urban environment, while the new LRT lines have been engineered from the start to be suitable to support an "off-the-shelf" internationally-standardized LRV. Compared to the TTC replacement streetcars, the Metrolinx LRVs will be slightly longer and slightly wider, and have several added features including:

  • Operates on international standard gauge tracks, allowing better integration with potential future LRT lines outside Toronto.
  • Can be connected together and operated as a train of two or three vehicles.
  • Can load from either the left or right side like a subway train, allowing stations to be built in either a side-platform or island-platform layout as needed.
  • Can be driven in both directions - there are driver cabs at both ends and it does not require a "loop" to turn around.
  • Can precisely align with the station platform for quick and easy wheelchair boarding, using "load levelling" technology.
  • Can operate in a tunnel for extended distances.
  • Once operating in a fully-segregated track environment, can activate automatic train operation (ATO) and run automatically.

Green Jobs for Ontarians

The new Metrolinx LRVs will exceed the provincial requirement of 25 per cent Canadian content in provincially-funded transit vehicles.

We estimate this order will create 1,300 direct jobs in Ontario and 2,700 indirect jobs over a ten year timeframe.


(1) Price does not include taxes, spare parts or potential contract change orders. The final purchase price is subject to pre-signature exchange rate fluctuations.

For further information: Media enquiries - Vanessa Thomas, 416-874-5974, or Robin Alam, 416-874-5975