eglinton crosstown lrt

Almost nobody believes Toronto's Eglinton Crosstown LRT will open this year

Given that the Eglinton Crosstown LRT is now four long years overdue after almost 13 full years of construction, you can't blame the people of Toronto for doubting that the seemingly cursed transit line will open at all, let alone anytime soon.

The pandemic, lawsuits and other unexpected setbacks have now dragged the project so far behind schedule that officials at Metrolinx won't even guesstimate an opening date for fear of breaking yet another promise.

And, though info revealed late last year suggested it would be sometime soon after spring 2024, and construction does (sort of) appear to be wrapping up along the route, riders are less confident than ever that they will be able to board Line 5 anytime soon.

A new poll of hundreds of residents of the city shows that a whopping 60 per cent of them disapprove of the work Metrolinx is doing in general, and also that most don't feel the Crosstown will open until at least 2026.

Only seven per cent of more than 860 respondents said they think the line will debut sometime this year, with 18 per cent believing it is more likely to happen sometime in 2025.

A total of 31 per cent said that based on what that have seen, read and heard about the LRT, it won't be in service until 2026. Another 15 per cent said an even later 2027, with five per cent guessing 2028.

Sixteen per cent said they weren't sure, and eight per cent were unfamiliar with the project.

"There has been delay after delay after delay for the Eglinton Crosstown project, which is years behind schedule. It has gotten to the point that Metrolinx will not give an opening date for the new transit line. So, we decided to ask Torontonians when they think the line will open," said Liaison Strategies, who conducted the poll for the National Ethnic Press And Media Council of Canada.

The results, released on Monday, also asked constituents about their feelings on Mayor Olivia Chow, who, based on the numbers, now has a 52 per cent approval rating.

As for the Crosstown, the bulk of the construction work is done, with systems integrations testing and small fixes still ongoing. Software issues in the signalling system is the latest explanation for further delays.

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