Crosslinx Transit Solutions has signed a C$9.1bn ($7bn) contract with Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Metrolinx to design, build, finance and maintain the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (Crosstown LRT) project in Toronto, Canada.

The project is being delivered using the Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) model, which protects taxpayers by transferring significant risks to the private sector.

According to IO, its rigorous and competitive procurement process has enabled it to conclude a deal that is C$2bn below the original estimate.

The Crosslinx Transit Solutions General Partnership consortium was selected as the preferred bidder for the project in June.

"The 19km-long Crosstown LRT is scheduled to be opened by 2021."

The consortium includes Aecon, ACS Infrastructure Canada, EllisDon and SNC-Lavalin and each member is an equal partner in the group with a 25% stake in the AFP contract.

Being built from Kennedy Station to Mount Dennis (Weston Road), the 19km-long Crosstown LRT is scheduled to be opened by 2021.

Approximately 10km of the line will be located underground between Keele Street and Laird Drive with up to 25 stations, linking to bus routes, three subway stations and several GO Transit lines.

In July, Bombardier had won a $308m, 30-year maintenance contract for the Flexity Freedom light rail vehicles (LRVs) it will build for the new Crosstown LRT.

The Crosstown LRT is part of the C$5.3bn ($4.3bn) investment in integrated transportation and transit in the GTHA announced by the Ontario government in 2010.

Crosslinx expects to generate 2,500 jobs during the peak of construction, with 90% of them going of the local people.

Image: Bombardier will supply Flexity Freedom light rail vehicles for the line. Photo: courtesy of Bombardier.