RFP issued for $1.2bn Toronto light rail

The project is part of the $31.5bn, 10-year Moving Ontario Forward plan aimed at prioritising rapid transit development.

Three teams have been shortlisted and invited to participate in a request for proposals (RFP) to develop the Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project in Toronto, Ontario through a 30-year public-private partnership.

Infrastructure Ontario, the agency leading the project procurement, has announced that Humbert Valley Transit Partners, Mosaic Transit Group and FACT Partners are cleared to propose potential development plans in the tender.

The Humbert Valley Transit Partners team is led by developer SNC-Lavalin and Graham, with National Bank and Scotia Bank acting as financial advisers and SNC-Lavalin and ACI as service providers. The Mosaic Trust Group is spearheaded by ACS, Aecon and CRH with financial adviser RBC Capital Markets and service providers ACS, Aecon and CRH. FACT Partners is led by developers EllisDon and Bechtel, with EllisDon Capital as financial adviser, and service providers EllisDon, Bechtel and Herzog Transit.

The project, which is being tendered using the Infrastructure Ontario Alternative Financing and Procurement Model, calls for the development of an 11km dedicated rapid transit corridor between Humber College and the new Finch West subway station in the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension, according to a statement. 

The route will feature 16 surface stops, a below-grade terminus stop at Humber College and an underground interchange station at the Finch West Subway Station. The winning bidder will also be expected to maintain a storage facility for housing the system's vehicle assets.

The projected ridership for the Finch West LRT corridor is roughly 2,800 passengers per hour in the peak direction by 2031. System capacity peaks at roughly 15,000 passengers per hour given the ability to add additional cars to existing routes in times of need, according to Metrolinx. The system will operate on dedicated right-of-way lanes and feature priority signaling at intersections to ensure timely service.   

“This new LRT line will help offer more efficient and convenient travel options for priority neighbourhoods and will play an important role in improving and connecting transit services across the city and surrounding areas,” said Ontario's minister of transportation Steven De Luca.

Infrastructure Ontario reported that shortlisted teams will spend most of 2016 preparing their proposals detailing their plans to design, build, operate, maintain and finance the project. Announcement of the winning bidder is expected in 2017. Construction completion is set for 2021, at which time the 30-year operations and maintenance phase of the project will initiate.