The mayor has added a motion to the executive committee that would kick his transit plan into high gear.
Mayor John Tory added a motion to the executive committee agenda Friday requesting a report on an “accelerated work plan” for his signature SmartTrack transit scheme.
The motion recommends that city council direct the city manager, in collaboration with the TTC and provincial government, to bring a work plan for SmartTrack to the executive committee—which convenes today for its first meeting of the new term—by January 22, 2015.
Tory’s motion calls for $750,000 in spending, and would authorize the city manager to retain the “specialized services” of the University of Toronto (which will help with analysis and transit modeling), Strategic Regional Research Associates (which will assess “development scenarios” along the SmartTrack route), and third-party peer reviewers.
Lastly, the motion would authorize the city manager to pursue “required partnership funding” with provincial and federal government officials.
The mayor doubtless chose his service providers advisedly: U of T civil engineering professor Eric Miller is a major SmartTrack supporter—having given the plan an “A+” grade during the recent election campaign—and will likely be involved in any transit-modeling work the City commissions; Strategic Regional Research Associates, meanwhile, is run by Iain Dobson, a Metrolinx board member and prominent property developer who was instrumental in the development of Tory’s transit scheme.
The mayor’s hand-picked executive committee is expected to pass the motion, which will be debated later today.