In his own words: Departing CEO reflects on time with Metrolinx

News Apr 12, 2017 by Rahul Gupta Bloor West Villager

For more than six years Bruce McCuaig was the CEO of Metrolinx, the agency tasked with building regional transit in the Toronto region and beyond. After he announced his departure from for a new post with the federal government, we asked him to reflect on his time with the agency.

Metroland Media Toronto: How has it been since you announced your departure?

McCuaig: It’s been a whirlwind, I’ll say that. I started having conversations (about leaving) quite a few weeks ago. You always have some emotion attached toward a group of people you worked with so intensely.

What have you been reflecting on as you wind down your time here?

Just all the progress that’s been made. When I arrived in 2010, we were still going from a very small organization into something much more significant. We hadn’t started construction on the Eglinton Crosstown, now the tunnelling is done. UP Express is running. Presto is now in Ottawa and Toronto. Regional Express Rail is fully funded, and we’re working flat out on implementation. There’s so much which has gone on and the team has been amazing rising to every challenge.

Are you concerned a change in government could mean undoing Metrolinx’s plans? 

There isn’t a natural point where you say OK the job is done. I don’t think anyone believes that in this region. There’s always going to be a need for a Metrolinx. That’s established and I have no fear of any fundamental change.

Do you have any advice for your eventual successor?

Working together is the only way to get stuff done. Relationship management is key to what Metrolinx does. The other piece is focusing on delivery. I think the public feels there’s been enough talk and planning and wants to see stuff get delivered. 

The third thing is our railway and transit corridors go through people’s backyards, and if we’re going to be successful we need to effectively engage. We need to be very good explaining why this is the right choice and ensure those communities are served well into the future. 

You’re aware some Toronto residents don’t feel like they’re being listened to. They feel Metrolinx builds projects right over them and they don’t have a choice in the matter.

I understand that perspective. The stark reality is linear corridors are rare and critically important assets. We only have a few, and that means you play with the hand you’re dealt with. I think the reality is we’re going to be using these rail corridors as opposed to creating new ones. 

Now these communities are aware the corridors are going to be more utilized, how do you approach that? Engage as early as possible and look at meaningful benefits to bring to the table. Can we satisfy everyone? I would say no, that’s not going to be possible in a large community with so many different interests, but I would suggest we’re improving. 

Note: this interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

In his own words: Departing CEO reflects on time with Metrolinx

Bruce McCuaig calls on successor to build better partnerships with government and communities

News Apr 12, 2017 by Rahul Gupta Bloor West Villager

For more than six years Bruce McCuaig was the CEO of Metrolinx, the agency tasked with building regional transit in the Toronto region and beyond. After he announced his departure from for a new post with the federal government, we asked him to reflect on his time with the agency.

Metroland Media Toronto: How has it been since you announced your departure?

McCuaig: It’s been a whirlwind, I’ll say that. I started having conversations (about leaving) quite a few weeks ago. You always have some emotion attached toward a group of people you worked with so intensely.

What have you been reflecting on as you wind down your time here?

There’s always going to be a need for a Metrolinx — Bruce McCuaig

Just all the progress that’s been made. When I arrived in 2010, we were still going from a very small organization into something much more significant. We hadn’t started construction on the Eglinton Crosstown, now the tunnelling is done. UP Express is running. Presto is now in Ottawa and Toronto. Regional Express Rail is fully funded, and we’re working flat out on implementation. There’s so much which has gone on and the team has been amazing rising to every challenge.

Are you concerned a change in government could mean undoing Metrolinx’s plans? 

There isn’t a natural point where you say OK the job is done. I don’t think anyone believes that in this region. There’s always going to be a need for a Metrolinx. That’s established and I have no fear of any fundamental change.

Do you have any advice for your eventual successor?

Working together is the only way to get stuff done. Relationship management is key to what Metrolinx does. The other piece is focusing on delivery. I think the public feels there’s been enough talk and planning and wants to see stuff get delivered. 

The third thing is our railway and transit corridors go through people’s backyards, and if we’re going to be successful we need to effectively engage. We need to be very good explaining why this is the right choice and ensure those communities are served well into the future. 

You’re aware some Toronto residents don’t feel like they’re being listened to. They feel Metrolinx builds projects right over them and they don’t have a choice in the matter.

I understand that perspective. The stark reality is linear corridors are rare and critically important assets. We only have a few, and that means you play with the hand you’re dealt with. I think the reality is we’re going to be using these rail corridors as opposed to creating new ones. 

Now these communities are aware the corridors are going to be more utilized, how do you approach that? Engage as early as possible and look at meaningful benefits to bring to the table. Can we satisfy everyone? I would say no, that’s not going to be possible in a large community with so many different interests, but I would suggest we’re improving. 

Note: this interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

In his own words: Departing CEO reflects on time with Metrolinx

Bruce McCuaig calls on successor to build better partnerships with government and communities

News Apr 12, 2017 by Rahul Gupta Bloor West Villager

For more than six years Bruce McCuaig was the CEO of Metrolinx, the agency tasked with building regional transit in the Toronto region and beyond. After he announced his departure from for a new post with the federal government, we asked him to reflect on his time with the agency.

Metroland Media Toronto: How has it been since you announced your departure?

McCuaig: It’s been a whirlwind, I’ll say that. I started having conversations (about leaving) quite a few weeks ago. You always have some emotion attached toward a group of people you worked with so intensely.

What have you been reflecting on as you wind down your time here?

There’s always going to be a need for a Metrolinx — Bruce McCuaig

Just all the progress that’s been made. When I arrived in 2010, we were still going from a very small organization into something much more significant. We hadn’t started construction on the Eglinton Crosstown, now the tunnelling is done. UP Express is running. Presto is now in Ottawa and Toronto. Regional Express Rail is fully funded, and we’re working flat out on implementation. There’s so much which has gone on and the team has been amazing rising to every challenge.

Are you concerned a change in government could mean undoing Metrolinx’s plans? 

There isn’t a natural point where you say OK the job is done. I don’t think anyone believes that in this region. There’s always going to be a need for a Metrolinx. That’s established and I have no fear of any fundamental change.

Do you have any advice for your eventual successor?

Working together is the only way to get stuff done. Relationship management is key to what Metrolinx does. The other piece is focusing on delivery. I think the public feels there’s been enough talk and planning and wants to see stuff get delivered. 

The third thing is our railway and transit corridors go through people’s backyards, and if we’re going to be successful we need to effectively engage. We need to be very good explaining why this is the right choice and ensure those communities are served well into the future. 

You’re aware some Toronto residents don’t feel like they’re being listened to. They feel Metrolinx builds projects right over them and they don’t have a choice in the matter.

I understand that perspective. The stark reality is linear corridors are rare and critically important assets. We only have a few, and that means you play with the hand you’re dealt with. I think the reality is we’re going to be using these rail corridors as opposed to creating new ones. 

Now these communities are aware the corridors are going to be more utilized, how do you approach that? Engage as early as possible and look at meaningful benefits to bring to the table. Can we satisfy everyone? I would say no, that’s not going to be possible in a large community with so many different interests, but I would suggest we’re improving. 

Note: this interview was edited and condensed for clarity.