Staff Response to Commission Inquiry Re: Fire Safety and Second Exits at Subway Stations
Meeting Date: May 12, 2004
Subject: Staff Response to Commission Inquiry Re: Fire Safety and Second Exits at Subway Stations
At its April 14, 2004 meeting, the Commission, in considering a staff response to Mr. Phillip Webb’s correspondence, requested that staff:
a. Explore the availability of grants or funding under the Homeland Security provisions to ensure that the stations are made secure,
b. Report on the costs of accelerating the project schedule, and
(c) Discuss this matter with the Mayor’s office for assistance in identifying and obtaining funding that may be available from other levels of government regarding safety issues.
A Fire & Life Safety Assessment Study was completed in 2002. This study evaluated the existing subway stations against current Ontario Building Code (OBC) requirements for evacuation and identified 14 stations in the high priority category that require an alternate means of egress from station platform to concourse level. Although the current OBC is not applicable to existing stations, the modifications at these stations were added to the scope of the Fire Ventilation Upgrade (FVU) project. An allowance of $24 million was included in the project until options at each station could be developed and evaluated and detailed estimates prepared.
Not knowing the complexity of the issues involved at each location, a reasonable amount of time was allowed to design and construct the second exits at the 14 stations. The budget schedule allows a full year to develop and evaluate options at each station with construction at the highest priority stations commencing in 2005. Work would proceed with approximately two stations constructed in each subsequent year until 2011.
a. Homeland Security Grants or Funding
The Homeland Security Fund is applicable only in the United States of America. There was a joint statement by the Deputy PM and the Director of the Whitehouse Office of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, in May 2002 on the subject of progress in the Smart Border Action Plan. The Smart Border Action Plan is being supported by the Border Infrastructure Fund (BIF). The BIF is essentially a companion program to the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF) - under which the TTC is receiving $350 million over 5 years for transit infrastructure. The Fire Ventilation Upgrade project has been submitted in "applications" for federal funding under CSIF, however, to date no approval has been given for this project to be funded under this program.
These BIF initiatives and funding programs relate to border security, responding to threats and breaches of security. Nothing is contemplated for infrastructure capacity to enable egress resulting from a threat at locations which are not strategic borders. This project may not be considered to be a strategic border in the context of the Government programs.
b. Costs of Accelerating the Second Exits Program
Preliminary concepts, including estimates, have now been developed at all 14 stations and are currently being evaluated. The overall preliminary estimated cost for the work excluding property at the 14 stations is $50 million compared to the $24 million allowance included in the budget. The primary reason for the higher costs is the complexity of the construction involving property and utility constraints at most locations. These preliminary costs must be refined further. Appendix "A" illustrates the cash flow impacts based on the current schedule with the revised estimates.
Based on the preliminary work done to date, it appears that the work may be accelerated to construct the second exits at the 14 priority stations by 2009. A revised cash flow, based on an accelerated schedule is shown in Appendix "B". The accelerated scenario includes starting design at three locations immediately with construction starting at these stations in 2005. Work would proceed with approximately four stations constructed in each subsequent year until 2008.
Although work would proceed on a priority basis, each location will have unique issues that may impact the schedule for that station. An independent evaluation of the options available at each station and the associated costs for that station will be undertaken. Upon completion, a recommendation including layout and costs, will be forwarded to the Commission for approval prior to proceeding with the detailed design at each location.
c. Discuss Other Sources of Funding with Mayor’s Office
TTC has and continues to pursue other sources of funding from existing transit type Provincial or Federal funding programs that might be available. There currently is no known opportunity for additional funding of the Second Exits program under any of the known programs.
Chief General Manager