Tuesday, November 13, 2007

As predicted here - Transit City cost nears $10 billion

The TTC's capital budget is now available:


As predicted in this space (i.e. by yours truly) back in March of this year, the 'expected' $6.1 billion cost was severely lowballed. (See Sunday, March 18, 2007
More on the Transit City - Cost approaching $10 billion.)

Per my earlier analysis:

Despite the staggering cost estimate, it appears that the scheme is being low-balled. The TTC does this consistently - so no surprise here. One obvious delusion is the plan to use only 240 vehicles. Although the vehicles would be larger than todays CLRVs, and even so than the ALRV versions, the 240 vehicle fleet size works out to an unrealistic load factor in terms of riders per service hour.

Applying the benchmark from Calgary C-train (122 riders per service hour) , using 240 vehicles for 175 million passengers a year would require vehicles to be in service an average of 16 hours/day. This doesn't seem realistic.

You can read the details, but basically, the vehicle requirements I see for the Transit City lines is for 386 LRVs - rather than the 240 in the proposal.

Now, in the TTC capital budget, I am proven right (I can't read the figures in the details because of the way the TTC publishes therir reports in tbe web. I will be requesting a hard copy tomorrow.)

It should be noted that the $6.1 billion figure included early estimates of vehicle requirements, however it did not include costs for the necessary maintenance and storage facility requirements to support this expanded LRT network.

Vehicle requirements have also been reassessed to determine more realistic assumptions for LRV loading standard capacity, average operating speeds and maintenance spares ratios. Total costs for Transit City are currently estimated to be in the order of $8.3 billion.

Estimate costs for the new LRVs to be (mis)used on the downtown streetcar network are now about $7 million/car. For 200 cars, we're at about $1.4 billion.

Are we at $10 billion yet? -No - but $9.7 billion is pretty close. Give this a few months and more costs will come out of the trackwork.

Bemoans one local LRT advocate (Steve Munro) who earlier asserted "I believe that the TTC’s estimate is in the ballpark." in response to my analysis.

Meanwhile, both the new streetcar procurement and Transit City are getting more expensive as cost estimates are refined. This is not making friends among Councillors who want so badly to be pro-transit, but who are sideswiped by the TTC’s inability to price their projects.

Well - I'll gladly help review the cost estimates!!!!

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