Metrolinx introduces QBS for engineering design at Rutherford GO Station


GTA Construction Report staff writer

Metrolinx has elected to use Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) for engineering services for the construction of a multi-level parking structure at the Rutherford GO station, marking a break-through in the architectural and engineering consulting profession’s goals to break away from primarily price-based selection in setting out design and engineering projects.

The pilot project, announced on Nov. 7, is the first of its kind in Ontario. The QBS bids closed on MERX on Nov. 27.

“This is very exciting news for us,” said Barry Steinberg, chief executive offer of Consulting Engineers of Ontario (CEO).  “We congratulate Metrolinx for its commitment to recognizing the best practice of consultant selection when it comes to infrastructure design and delivery.

“We are very confident that the merits of the QBS process will provide significant benefits for the people of Ontario and an excellent return on investment for Metrolinx, and are looking forward to many more QBS projects being offered in the future.”

The QBS opportunity posted on MERX sets some stringent standards indicating that only well-experienced and qualified engineering consultants should even consider applying for the work.


Requirements included the following experience and qualifications

  • The Proponent should have a minimum of fifteen (15) years experience in the design and construction supervision of multi-level parking structures;
  • The Proponent should have a minimum of fifteen (15) years experience in the contract administration, engineering services and construction supervision in rail corridor transportation environment; and
  • The Proponent should have a minimum of ten (10) years experience in transit priority measures and ridership analysis experience.

The CEO news release says that “departing from tradition and moving to the ‘best practice,’ Metrolinx has proven itself an innovator in delivering public infrastructure.

The QBS decision has the support of others in the design and construction community.  “Great development,” said Clive Thurston, president of the Ontario General Contractors Association.

QBS emphasizes maximum project value, the CEO news release said. “Focusing on consultant expertise and experience to guide project scope of work and negotiation for project price, clients are able to realize significant returns on investments. Design innovation and professional best practices help control construction costs and manage project schedules.”

Detailed information on QBS can be found at:


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