Connect 6ix team awarded $9B Ontario Line contract

Announced in 2019, the Ontario Line is one of four priority transit projects Metrolinx is leading for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Key Takeaways:

  • The contract was snagged by Connect 6ix, which was led by Hitachi Rail, Plenary Americas, WeBuild Group and Transdev Canada Inc.
  • The contract involves design, build, operations and maintenance work that will extend for 30 years.
  • The Ontario Line is being delivered through various P3, progressive design-build and traditional procurement contracts.

The Whole Story:

Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Metrolinx have awarded a massive, $9 billion contract to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Ontario Line Rolling Stock, Systems, Operations and Maintenance (RSSOM) package for a 30-year term.

The contract, won by Connect 6ix, consists of $2.3B for capital costs and $6.7B for short-term construction financing and transaction costs, train costs and 30-year operations and maintenance, lifecycle, and long-term financing.

Meeting the team 

The Connect 6ix team includes:

Applicant Lead: Plenary Americas, Hitachi Rail, Webuild Group (Salini Impreglio Canada Holding Inc.), Transdev Canada Inc.

Design Team: Hitachi Rail, IBI Group Professional Services (Canada) Inc.

Construction Team: Hitachi Rail, Webuild Group (Astaldi Canada Design & Construction Inc. and Salini Impreglio Civil Works Inc.), NGE Contracting Inc.

Operations, Maintenance and Rehabilitation Team: Hitachi Rail, Transdev Canada Inc.

Financial Advisors: National Bank Financial Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

“As a world leader in autonomous metro systems, we’re hugely excited to help transform Toronto’s transit network by delivering the new Ontario Line,” said Andrew Barr, CEO of Hitatchi Rail. “This will be the second major program that we’ll be bring our digital expertise and engineering excellence to deliver in Canada, after the Hurontario light rail transit project. Our role delivering maintenance and operations for the next 30 years will see us having a lasting presence in Toronto for a generation to come.”

A map shows the route and stations for the Ontario Line. – Metrolinx

According to the province, the team was chosen through an open and competitive procurement process overseen by a third-party fairness monitor. 

“Connect 6ix submitted the proposal which delivers the best value for Ontario taxpayers,” said officials. “The project is being delivered through IO’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) model, which transfers appropriate risks associated with design, construction, financing, operations and maintenance of the project to the private sector.”

The team will begin mobilizing their design and construction crews, with work to commence in 2023. The project is anticipated to be completed in 2031. Once all the civil infrastructure elements and systems from Ontario Line North and South segments have been completed, integrated and certified, Connect 6ix will then begin operating and maintaining the Ontario Line for a 30-year term.

The Connect 6ix team stated that it anticipates that the work on the RSSOM contract will strengthen Ontario’s economy by supporting an estimated 800 jobs, the majority of which will come from the Greater Toronto Area.

The scope of the work

The Ontario Line RSSOM package is a design, build, finance, operate, maintain contract that covers a 30-year term. It includes:

  • Designing, supplying, operating and maintaining the rolling stock (trains).
  • Designing, building, operating and maintaining all track and systems (communications and train control).
  • Designing, building, operating and maintaining the Maintenance and Storage Facility (where the trains are stored) and the Operations Control Centre (where staff control train operations and are connected to TTC and GO Transit systems) and backup operations control centre.
  • Working collaboratively with TTC according to future operations and maintenance agreements.
  • Integrating fare equipment with the PRESTO system.

The province noted that the Ontario Line project is being delivered through various P3, progressive design-build and traditional procurement contracts, which are all being staged accordingly for their successful delivery.

The Ontario Line will be a 15.6-kilometre new rapid transit line running between the Ontario Science Centre and Exhibition/Ontario Place in Toronto, with 15 stations, including six interchange stations. The new line will provide more than 40 connections to other subway, bus, streetcar, light-rail transit and regional rail services. When in service, the Ontario Line will be operated by Connect 6ix and owned by the provincial transit agency Metrolinx.

The trains will travel at speeds upwards of 80 kilometres per hour and will be powered entirely by electricity. The Connect 6ix anticipates the project will take roughly 28,000 cars off the city’s roads each day.

Ontario Line renderings show what the new stations, tracks and vehicles could look like. – Government of Ontario


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