The Globe & Mail’s Kelly Grant has the scoop on upcoming transit announcements:
[Interim Chief of Staff Mark Towhey] said the city intends to seek a private-sector partner who would build, design and finance an extension of the Sheppard subway east to the Scarborough Town Centre and west to Downsview station.
If the plan is approved by the province and city council, the city would continue to own the longer Sheppard line. The city would pay back the private consortiums initial investment using tax-increment financing and an increased transit-oriented development fee in a narrow band along the Sheppard line.
So many questions: is the city even allowed to hide debt this way? How do you structure this kind of deal so that it would appeal to a private company? Does this mean the rest of the Transit City funding stays in place? How surreal and scary is it that Mark “Cut all bus routes and let people car pool!” Towhey is speaking about transit matters?
This isn’t necessarily a bad outcome. It seemingly would allow the province and Metrolinx to focus their money and energy on more important routes like Eglinton while the Mayor’s Office screws around with the private sector for the next few years getting a deal done. Could be a lot of worse.