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Response Letter – Metrolinx Board Meeting June 25, 2020

Office of the Chair
Donald Wright
Donald.Wright@metrolinx.com 

July 20, 2020 

A Voice for Transit Team
A Voice for Transit
350 Victoria St.
Toronto, ON
M5B 2K3 

Dear Faizan Ahmed, Ozora Amin, Sherwin Lau, Devan Moura, and Jean-François Obregón, 

RE: June 25, 2020 Board of Directors Meeting Feedback 

Thank you for writing. As the Chair of the Board of Directors, I appreciate the opportunity to respond on behalf of Metrolinx. 

While our Board meetings do not allow for deputations, we welcome input into agenda items, which are posted in advance on our website here. If you wish to provide comments on a matter before the meeting, you can do so in writing. Feedback, like this letter, is also posted on the above-noted Board Meetings web page for transparency. The next meeting is scheduled for September 10, 2020. 

PRESTO

With respect to your PRESTO feedback, we are happy to share that iPhone and Android smartphone users can now instantly load funds and passes through the PRESTO app. Users with devices that are not enabled with near-field communication technology (NFC) protocols can still load funds through the website and app (with funds available for use within a maximum of 24 hours) or instantly at in-station fare devices and at any Shoppers Drug Mart location. We are continually looking at ways to improve access to PRESTO services to ensure all of our customers can easily purchase and load cards. 

Capital Projects

As an agency of the Government of Ontario, Metrolinx continues to work closely with the Ministry of Transportation to deliver the Government’s vision for a modern, integrated rapid transit system across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. 

This work includes new routes like the Ontario Line, which will bring nearly 16 kilometres (15.5) of much-needed subway service to the City of Toronto to make it faster and easier for hundreds of thousands of people to get where they need to be each day. For more information on the project or to submit a question, you can visit our Ontario Line – Get Engaged web page on the Metrolinx Engage platform here. Specific property requirements are coordinated directly with individual property owners and tenants. Compensation is determined in accordance with the Expropriations Act

Thank you for your feedback on the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension and the Scarborough Subway Extension projects as well. There are also Metrolinx Engage pages associated with each of these projects, with answers to similar questions as the points you have raised. 

Business Case Lifecycle

All capital projects like subway extensions are evaluated through the Business Case Lifecycle process. Metrolinx adheres to a widely-used business planning methodology that sees a business case as an evolving document. We may update a business case when new evidence, analysis, and/or opportunities are identified. 

We currently consider impacts like those to the economy and environment in our business case development process, but we are always considering options to make the process more robust. We appreciate your recommendation to add an equity assessment. You can read more about this process in Metrolinx’s Business Case Manual

COVID-19 Response

Safety is critical to everything we do at Metrolinx. Using the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, we are working hard to keep our customers, employees and the community safe. 

When the Province of Ontario released its Public Transit Safety Guidance, we were happy to see many of the guidelines were among the 40 new measures our teams already put in place. 

Temperature screening is one tool available at our health and safety kiosk at Union Station. Additional kiosks will be installed at more stations in the coming months. You can learn more about temperature screening and other measures we are taking in this Metrolinx News blog post here

I hope this addresses your concerns. Thank you again for your feedback. 

Best regards, 

Donald A. Wright
Chair, Metrolinx Board of Directors 

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