COVID-19 may delay the Ontario Line

Queens Park

Queen's Park has officially announced the next step in its plan to run subway trains between Exhibition Place and the Ontario Science Centre.

But there's one big question: Will the Ontario Line be finished on time?

On the Jerry Agar Show, Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney raised the possibility that it could be delayed due to COVID-19.

The target date to finish was 2027 but Mulroney said the commercial landscape has changed.

"It's still too early to tell what the exact timeline will be but there certainly has been an impact," Mulroney said.

The province announced this morning, its first two requests for public-private partnerships. It's looking for a bidder to handle operations and maintenance, and another to design, build and finance the southern portion.

A news release says they'll look for a bidder for the northern portion of the line after the southern contract winner is chosen. Segments that align with GO Transit will be awarded separately.

The province was planning to award one contract for the whole project, but a report by the Toronto Star suggests they broke it up to make it more attractive to the private sector.

The Ontario Line is expected to cost $11 billion. It's part of Premier Doug Ford's $28.5 billion transit plan.

Mulroney also suggested that the cost could change saying, "costs will be refined over the life of the project."