Conclusions

We have analysed the projects that constitute The Big Move and reached the following conclusions.

First, the projects as proposed will not achieve the objective of doubling transit ridership. As currently defined, we estimate that by 2033 the Metrolinx schemes will attract only about 700,000 new daily riders. Growth in demand on existing routes will be about 600,000, bringing the total daily ridership up to about 3.4 million, 800,000 short of the Metrolinx target of 4.2 million. With 800,000 more daily trips being made by car, traffic congestion will worsen and average daily commute times will continue to rise.

Figure 26: The current Metrolinx schemes will not deliver the target of doubling transit ridership.

Second, Metrolinx is not adhering to its own guiding principles. It is not investing “where it matters most.” Most of its funds are going towards schemes with little or no regional focus, with costs in excess of benefits, which will deliver poor value for money. The schemes reflect the priorities of individual municipalities, but do not add up to an integrated plan to serve the region.

Metrolinx is not aggressively pursuing the most important scheme, the upgrading of GO Rail into a regional express rail network. Instead, it is focusing largely on secondary schemes that have strong local champions, but that will bring much less benefit without the regional rail backbone.

Nor is the organization living up to the principle of accountability. Metrolinx has not published a detailed financial plan, showing what it plans to build, how it will be paid for, and what this will deliver. “Benefit Case Analyses” have not been issued for some schemes. The BCAs that have been issued omit key information. The BCAs for the two most expensive schemes, the Eglinton Crosstown line and the Downtown Relief Line (DRL), were not made public until we obtained them for this report through a Freedom of Information request. In any case, Metrolinx seems to be ignoring their conclusions. The BCAs for the Transit City LRT schemes, including the Eglinton LRT, shows a very low Benefit:Cost ratio, yet Metrolinx is proceeding with the $5 billion Eglinton scheme, in contravention of its own principles of prudent financial management and accountability.

Third, despite these negative findings, there are many opportunities for Metrolinx to improve its schemes and spend its money effectively in a way that will benefit the residents of the region.

Unlike the Metrolinx BCAs, our analysis also considers ways to improve operating efficiencies, and to increase farebox revenues (while still maximizing ridership) rather than relying primarily on increased government funding. Well-designed schemes can repay more than 50% of capital costs, and in some cases, all capital costs, as well as incremental operating costs from fares, while maximizing transit ridership.

Although further work is required to confirm our estimates, our approach provides a sound basis to determine whether, under plausible assumptions, the schemes are likely to be worthwhile in economic terms, affordable, and otherwise consistent with the Metrolinx Guiding Principles. This is not the “last word” – much further study is required to confirm costs and benefits before any of the schemes can be funded and built. However, we have shown a way to start.

Key measures for the schemes, as currently planned are presented the Appendix and in the table below. Costs are shown in red italics; savings, revenues, and benefits are show in blue roman. Schemes understood to be in the current Metrolinx program are shown in green. The same information is provided for a modified program.

We also present figures for a possible modified program, with inclusion of GO upgrading into Regional Express Rail, changes to the design of the Richmond Hill Subway and Eglinton Crosstown LRT, and replacement of the Scarborough LRT/Subway and Sheppard LRT schemes with the “Scarborough Wye.” The 905-region LRT and BRT schemes are retained, but the Finch West BRT and DRL have been eliminated. Our analysis indicates capital costs can be reduced by about 20%, and the total funding requirement (net of revenues and operational savings) by about 62%, while generating about 43% more new transit riders than the current Metrolinx program.

After reviewing our report, Metrolinx staff noted that this analysis includes only current and “Next Wave” projects, and that further schemes are included in their “25 year Plan,” appended as Schedules 1 and 2 to the 2008 Big Move Regional Transportation Plan. Metrolinx has, however, provided little information on these schemes, usually no more than the name of the scheme, an indication of the proposed mode, and a line on a large-scale map. Estimates of costs or ridership are not available, and do not seem to be included within Metrolinx’s proposed $36-billion program. Therefore, we have not included them in this analysis.

 

Capital Cost $m NPV

O&M costs or savings $m NPV

Incremental revenues $m NPV

Funding Gap $m NPV

New Daily Riders 2033

Net Cost per new 2033 Rider

Net Benefits

Benefit: Cost Ratio

GO RAIL SCHEMES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lakeshore GO every 30 minutes electric locomotives

 $ -855

 $ 418

 $ 440

 $ 2

6,925

 nil

 $ 482

 2.10

Union Pearson Express

 $ -531

 $ -306

 $ 1,511

 $ 674

12,000

 nil

 $ 1,178

 2.41

SUBWAY SCHEMES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subway to Vaughan

 $ -2,720

 $ -395

 $ 1,380

 $ -1,735

80,000

 $ -21,688

 $ 473

 1.15

Subway to Richmond Hill (6 stations)

 $ -2,500

 $ -280

 $ 1,725

 $ -1,055

100,000

 $ -10,550

 $ 1,705

 1.61

Downtown Relief Line Don Mills-Dundas W

 $ -8,620

 $ -1,075

 $ 2,034

 $ -7,661

154,770

 $ -49,498

 $ -3,695

 0.62

TRANSIT CITY SCHEMES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheppard LRT

 $ -1,147

 $ -391

 $ 190

 $ -1,348

27,500

 $ -49,027

 $ -696

 0.55

Scarborough RT – LRT

 $ -1,127

 $ -253

 $ 207

 $ -173

30,000

 $ -39,083

 $-189

0.86

Eglinton Crosstown LRT

 $ -5,236

 $ -1,052

 $ 607

 $ -5,680

88,000

 $ -64,549

 $ -3,383

 0.46

Finch West LRT

 $ -1,084

 $ -304

 $ 189

 $ -1,199

27,350

 $ -43,850

 $ -537

 0.61

905 REGION BRT/LRT SCHEMES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mississauga Hurontario LRT Option 1

 $ -1,022

 $ -185

 $ 105

 $ -1,102

51,120

 $ -21,557

 $ 1,141

 1.56

Mississauga Dundas Street BRT Option 4

 $ -369

 $ -97

 $ 47

 $ -419

22,680

 $ -18,479

 $ 656

 1.76

Brampton Queen Street BRT Option 1A

 $ -523

 $ -221

 $ 69

 $ -675

19,800

 $ -34,076

 $ -191

 0.69

VIVA Rapidways BRT Option 2

 $ -1,509

 $ -263

 $ 65

 $ -1,707

15,333

 $ -111,326

 $ -190

 0.90

Durham - Scarborough BRT Option 1

 $ -366

 $ -78

 $ 25

 $ -419

48,000

 $ -8,723

 $ 54

 0.57

Mississauga 403 BRT

 $ -259

 $ -55

 $ 18

 $ -296

28,306

 $ -10,468

 

 0.57

TOTAL Metrolinx current program

 $ -27,868

$-4,537

$8,612

 $ -23,793

711,784

 $ -33,427

 $-3,192

 

Summary Data for Big Move Schemes (all figures are $ millions Net Present Value)

 

Capital Cost $m NPV

O&M costs or saving $ NPV

Incremental revenues $ NPV

Funding Gap $m NPV

New Daily Rider 2033

Net Cost per new 2033 Rider

Net Benefits

Benefit:Cost Ratio

GO RAIL SCHEMES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lakeshore GO every 15 minutes EMUs

 $ -897

 $ 502

 $ 3,070

 $ 2,675

63,755

 nil

 $ 6,502

 17.47

Other GO routes every 15 minutes EMUs

 $ -2,015

 $ 467

 $ 3,070

 $ 1,521

63,755

 nil

 $ 5,349

 4.46

GO Relief services from Main/Danforth

 $ -100

 $ -32

 $ 72

 $ -61

5,000

 $ -12,111

 $ 114

 1.86

Union Pearson Express

 $ -531

 $ -306

 $ 1,511

 $ 674

12,000

 nil

 $ 1,178

 2.41

SUBWAY SCHEMES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subway modernization package

 $ -2,800

 $ -378

 $ 962

 $ -1,108

200,000

 $ -5,540

 $ 962

 1.30

Subway to Vaughan

 $ -2,720

 $ -395

 $ 1,380

 $ -1,735

80,000

 $ -21,688

 $ 473

 1.15

Subway to Richmond Hill (2 stations)

 $ -1,690

 $ -236

 $ 1,553

 $ -374

90,000

 $ -4,150

 $ 2,111

 2.10

TRANSIT CITY SCHEMES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarborough Y ALRT

 $ -1,920

 $ 150

 $ 974

 $ -796

141,200

 $ -5,639

 $ 3,361

 2.90

Eglinton Crosstown ALRT

 $ -5,588

 $ -856

 $ 1,214

 $ -5,230

176,000

 $ -29,714

 $ -372

 0.94

905 REGION BRT/LRT SCHEMES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mississauga Hurontario LRT Option 1

 $ -1,022

 $ -185

 $ 105

 $ -1,102

51,120

 $ -21,557

 $ 1,141

 1.56

Mississauga Dundas Street BRT Option 4

 $ -369

 $ -97

 $ 47

 $ -419

22,680

 $ -18,479

 $ 656

 1.76

Brampton Queen Street BRT Option 1A

 $ -523

 $ -221

 $ 69

 $ -675

19,800

 $ -34,076

 $ -191

 0.69

VIVA Rapidways BRT Option 2

 $ -1,509

 $ -263

 $ 65

 $ -1,707

15,333

 $ -111,326

 $ -190

 0.90

Durham - ScarboroughBRT Option 1

 $ -366

 $ -78

 $ 25

 $ -419

48,000

 $ -8,723

 $ 54

 0.57

Mississauga 403 BRT

 $ -259

 $ -55

 $ 18

 $ -296

28,306

 $ -10,468

 

 0.57

TOTAL modified program

 $ -22,309

$-1,984 

$14,135 

 $ -9,050

1,016,949

 $ -8,900

 $ 21,147

 

TOTAL MX Metrolinx current program

 $ -27.868

$-4,537 

 $8,612

 $ -23,793

711,784

 $ -33,427

 $ -3,192

 

Improvement over Metrolinx program

20%

56%

64%

62%

43%

 

 

 

Summary Data for possible Modified Program (all figures are $ millions Net Present Value)

Figure 27: Optimizing the Program