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Karygiannis questions bus garage price tag

Councillor Jim Karygiannis is questioning the $181-million price tag for the TTC’s McNicoll bus garage.

Toronto Sun June 26, 2015 Don Peat

Karygiannis — an opponent of the project in his ward — visited a garage in Oakville for 175 buses that was built in 2011 at a cost of $45 million and questions why it is $136 million cheaper than the TTC’s 250-bus garage that is supposed to be built by 2019.

“One plus one comes out to 11 here,” Karygiannis said.

“I’m questioning it with a big question mark. I’m not feeling comfortable. We’ve got a huge price tag on it, an exorbitant price tag.

“If that’s the figures, we’ve got to go back to the drawing board.”

He’s planning on writing to the city’s auditor general next week with a request to investigate the cost of the Scarborough project.

“If those numbers don’t jive, then I’ll be asking council to reverse the decision we took,” Karygiannis said.

TTC officials provided a rundown of a number of differences between the two buildings. Along with space to house 75 more buses, the TTC facility is around 323,000 square feet while the Oakville garage is 265,000 square feet.

The McNicoll garage also includes plans for double the number of bus hoists, a sound wall and, based on city policy, will have a green roof covering 50% of the building’s footprint.

But Karygiannis maintained it seems to him that “we’re paying for the Taj Mahal.”

“Green roof, extra bays, that does not qualify an extra $136 million,” he said.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross said “there are many differences” between the two buildings.

But Ross declined to respond to Karygiannis’ concerns about the price of the Scarborough project. “The TTC will be issuing (requests for proposals) on this project, so making estimates for specific pieces of the facility public before that would not be prudent,” Ross said.

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