The city’s executive committee has voted in favour of building an underground bus terminal as part of the Scarborough subway extension, a move that would add nearly $200 million to the cost of the project.

The 13-person committee voted in favour of building the underground bus terminal at the new Scarborough Town Centre station following a recommendation from city staff.

The decision to build the terminal underground rather than above ground would add an estimated $187 million to the cost of the subway extension, bringing the total price tag to $3.346 billion.

The increase is just the latest change to the budget for the one-stop subway extension, which was originally pegged at $2.1 billion and then revised to $2.9 billion.

Mayor Tory, however, stressed to reporters last week that the $187 million for the underground bus terminal should be viewed as a “separate” issue unrelated to the cost of the subway extension itself.

“The original proposal contemplated an above-ground bus terminal, our planners now say that it would be better for the ultimate growth and dynamism of Scarborough to build a below-ground bus terminal and there is a cost to that, which we will have to consider,” Tory said. “I just think this is the way any project proceeds. When you are renovating your house you stop along the way at different times, maybe have meetings with the contractor, and sort of say ‘Are we going to change things? Are we going to add a new garage on?’”

In addition to approving the construction an underground bus terminal, Tory’s executive committee also signed off on the McCowan Avenue alignment for the subway extension on Tuesday.

The cost of the McCowan Avenue alignment was pegged at $3.159 billion in a report provided to council in July. A Brimley Road route, which was also being considered, would have put the cost at about $2.9 billion.

City council will vote on the alignment and the underground bus terminal at a meeting on March 28.