The huge cost of building subways: is TransLink listening?

What was once going to be a much more affordable hybrid light-metro/light rail line, before the election of Toronto’s Ai??Mayor Ford, Ai??is now being replanned as a full scale subway, dramatically increasing costs.

Those wanting to build a subway under Broadway had better get out their calculators because new subway construction in Toronto is getting extremely expensive. For too long the SkyTrain/metro lobby in Vancouver have been singing hosannas about metro and its superiority over LRT, but remain mute about the costs. The proposed preliminary cost ofAi?? $8.2 billion for one subway line in Toronto is roughly the same cost that taxpayers have paid to date forAi?? three mini-metro lines in Vancouver. TransLink, as BC Transit before, have rejected the notion of BC’s Ai??Auditor General checking the books, which leaves me suspicious that the cost for SkyTrain and the Canada Line are much higher than advertised; this especially when the BC Auditor General found $2.2 billion of deferred debt at BC Hydro, which was deliberately hidden from public view.

The cost of new subway construction should send alarm bells ringing with every mayor and council in the Vancouver Metro Region, especially with TransLink actively pursuing a SkyTrain subway under Broadway. This also should put to rest the silly notion espoused by the SkyTrain Lobby and Vancouver politicians that SkyTrain and subways are OK for Vancouver and light rail isAi??OK for the Fraser Valley. In truth, new UBC subway will pauper regional taxpayers and merchants who have stores on Broadway should look at moving to new locations as any subway built under Broadway will involve cut and cover subway construction as cut and cover will help mitigate the high cost of underground subway construction.

One must remember that TransLink destroyed hundreds of businesses along Cambie Street with cut-and-cover subway construction, and they will do the same along Broadway, ten fold and if anyone has any doubts over this, just ask Susan Heyes!


TORONTO, Ont. – A national magazine has named the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Line the most expensive public infrastructure project in the nation.

The list was compiled by Renew Canada, ranking each project on total cost, including materials and labour.

The magazine cites Mayor Rob Ford’s decision to move the line underground as a major reason the price was increased substantially to $8.2 billion ($8.03 billion USD).

The now cancelled “Transit City” plans were named number four on the magazine’s list last year.

The Globe and Mail reports that oil and gas projects are not including in the list because they’re not considered part of public works.

The Spadina subway expansion is number eight on this year’s list, with an overall cost of $2.6 billion ($2.54 billion USD).

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