Metrolinx president and CEO Phil Verster has issued a statement in regards to the current legal dispute with Crosslinx Transit Solutions, the consortium hired to design, build, finance, and maintain the $9.1-billion Eglinton LRT project.

Here is the full statement:

“Metrolinx filed an application in the courts today to stay any claim by Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS ), the successful bidder for the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project, for its delays related to the construction and delivery of this project.

CTS issued a Notice of Action early in July and is required to issue a Statement of Claim by August 9, 2018. Metrolinx’s application to the Court seeks a stay in CTS’s assertions of a claim, instead redirecting CTS to adhere to the contract’s dispute provisions. Metrolinx is continuing to encourage CTS to focus on completing the project by September 2021, as it committed to do, and is seeking that CTS adheres to their contractual obligations.

Metrolinx’s single biggest objective with regard to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line is to open this new and exciting transit service for our customers in September 2021, on-time and on-budget. This project brings essential improvements in the every-day transit choices of the people and communities in Toronto.

Since CTS indicated, five months ago, that they are struggling to complete their work program in line with their contracted schedule, Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario have been working closely and extensively with CTS to rectify their schedule, evaluate their assertions, and to help to improve CTS’s performance. After this thorough review, both agencies found that the majority of the issues raised by CTS are without merit and are their responsibility under the contract. We now need to draw a line under this attempt to claim compensation for their own failures, amongst those, the failure to complete their design work on-time and for the extensive impact this has had on permits, approvals, and on the delivery schedule.

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We have been patient in dealing with CTS’s demands over these last months, but now we have to move forward. These claim assertions will be dealt with after all efforts to catch up have been exhausted and the project has been completed. CTS must now immediately submit a schedule that is compliant with the contract and deliver this exciting and important project for our customers and riders, by September 2021. There are three years remaining and more than enough time to take the appropriate actions to meet the in-service date. This is best achieved by focusing on the day-to-day actions and delivery, rather than be distracted by litigation.

The Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx project teams work closely and in partnership to support the CTS project teams on a daily basis. Ultimately, under the terms of the contract it is the private partner’s responsibility to secure permits and approvals from third-parties like the City of Toronto, Toronto Hydro Electric System and the Toronto Transit Commission.

It should be noted that:

  • As the successful bidder, CTS established its fixed price and selected the date of September 2021 as the completion date that will enable services to operate.
  • CTS was slow to mobilize at the outset and has significantly fallen behind schedule in finalizing its design, thereby jeopardizing its ability to stay on track and meet its promised schedule. CTS’s own work schedule reports that that its completion of design activities has been delayed by almost one year (361 days).
  • Metrolinx, Infrastructure Ontario, Toronto Hydro Electric System, the TTC, and the City of Toronto have all noted consistent trends in late design submissions and poor quality of submissions required for permits and approvals.  Submissions by CTS were later than anticipated (likely due to delays in completing the designs), submissions were often incomplete and had to be re-submitted (in some cases several times), and re-submissions were often inadequate and late.”
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