Toronto’s Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler presented her report on the TTC Briefing Note to the Audit Committee on Friday, October 27th. The note, distributed selectively, before a crucial council vote in 2016, showed the costs of the seven-stop Scarborough LRT would be almost as high as the $3.2 billion one-stop Scarborough Subway Extension.
The Toronto Auditor General (AG) concluded that the LRT cost estimate of $2.97 billion was within an acceptable range. But there is no explanation as to why a seven-stop LRT would cost almost twice as much as the proposed eighteen-stop Eglinton East LRT to U of T Scarborough, pegged at $1.56 – 1.67 billion.
However the AG did agree that if we were to go back to replacing the Scarborough RT with an LRT, construction could begin in 2018, not 2021 as stated in the TTC Briefing Note.
Unfortunately, the AG’s report took a very narrow focus when in fact the complaint submitted by Scarborough Transit Action and allies asked for a much broader investigation.
The complainants asked for a value-for-money analysis of the one-stop Scarborough Subway Extension.
The Scarborough subway was approved in 2013. It quickly received funding priority without a comparison with other transit projects in the city’s official plan. Millions have been spent on design and planning without any analysis to determine if it would be good value for money. We have no conclusive evidence that the $3+ billion we are poised to invest would actually result in an improvement over the existing SRT or even an LRT.
The AG has a mandate to assist ‘city council in holding itself and city administrators accountable for the quality of stewardship over public funds and for achievement of value for money in city operations.’
The AG report states a value for money analysis ‘may form part of a future audit’.
We need more than a maybe. We need a value for money analysis of the Scarborough Subway Extension now!
The AG’s 2018 Audit Work Plan will go to council on Wednesday December 6th
Read our letter asking Mayor Tory and Council for a value-for-money analysis here