Tory to appoint ‘transit czar’ to get new lines built quickly, efficiently
One councillor says the lack of funding and all the political meddling is biggest obstacle
The city is appointing its first “transit czar” in what Mayor John Tory says is a bid to ensure new lines are built as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The new transit expansion office, which Tory announced Thursday morning at city hall, will be headed by an executive director who the mayor said would be responsible for identifying roadblocks to getting transit built within city government, and serve as a point of contact between city divisions, the TTC, Metrolinx, and other orders of government working on new lines.
“I felt we needed somebody who was going to be the point person, who was going to clear away obstacles, and was going to make sure we moved ahead as quickly as we possibly could with every single one of the projects in the cityapproved transit plan,” Tory said at a news conference.
“If one department or area of the city government is delaying progress, they will have a light shone on them with my full support and that delay will be brought to an end,” Tory continued.
“You need somebody that quite frankly — I hate to put it in the vernacular — that’s going to kick some butt.”
Tory, who in the run-up to last month’s election had repeatedly said he was already doing everything possible to get projects like the relief line built quickly, said the city would begin the search for the director of the new office immediately.
A city spokesperson said the salary range for the position is $196,596 to $221,166.
The preliminary budget for the office is estimated at $2 million a year, the spokesperson said, which includes salaries for a staff of 12 to 15 employees. The spokesperson said the budget would initially come from money council had already earmarked to support transit projects.
Full story at thestar.com/gta
The new transit expansion office, which Tory announced Thursday morning at city hall, will be headed by an executive director.