Category Archives for "Events"

Oct 20

Guest Speaker: John Bakker on Electrification

By Transport Action Ontario | Events , Intercity Rail and Bus , Urban Transit

We invite you to join us for a guest speaker meeting on Wednesday October 23rd in Toronto, or Friday October 25th in Ottawa.

John Bakker, Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Alberta, and past Western vice-president of Transport Action Canada, now resident in the Vancouver area, will speak on Transportation Electrification Strategies for Western Canada discussing passenger rail, urban light rail, and freight. 

John served as civil engineering consultant for the Edmonton LRT, North America’s first modern light rail system, in 1978. Together with John Schnablegger, he also authored Ottawa’s 1996 Rapid Transit study, which was the basis for the decision in 1997 to implement the Ottawa Light Rail Pilot Project, from Greenboro and Carleton University to Bayview, and now forms the Trillium Line in Ottawa’s LRT system.

Toronto Meeting

Date: Wednesday October 23, 2019
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 pm
Location: St. Paul’s Bloor Street | 227 Bloor Street St. E, Toronto, Room 206

The nearest TTC subway stations are Bloor-Yonge and Sherbourne.

Ottawa Meeting

Date: Friday October 25th, 2019
Time: 5:00 to 6.30 pm (doors open at 4.30 pm)
Location: Bronson Centre | 211 Bronson Avenue, Ottawa, Room 221

The Bronson Centre is served directly by bus route #10 Hurdman from Lyon O-Train Station, or by bus route #11 from downtown or the west end to Somerset and Bronson, two blocks south of the Centre. Free parking is available on the side streets around the Centre or in the parking lot at the rear off Nepean Street.

Photo: A “Rolling Highway” through the Alps in Switzerland – An option for the Rockies? 

Apr 24

Transport Action Ontario – Annual General Meeting and Public Presentation – May 4 – Toronto

By Transport Action Ontario | Events , Latest News , Urban Transit

Transport Action Ontario’s annual general meeting will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 11:00 am at St. Paul’s Bloor Street, 227 Bloor St. E, Toronto.    There will be a review of 2018 performance and election of the executive and board of directors for 2019. TAO members can vote in person or by proxy. Non-members are welcome to attend. Our organization is always looking for new members to join our board of directors. If you have a passion for public transportation and want to make a difference, contact us at ontario@transportaction.ca.

Following the Annual General Meeting, we will be hosting an afternoon public presentation on last mile transit solutions for Ontario. All members of the public are invited.

Location:  As above, St Paul’s Bloor Street.   Time:  2:00 pm

Our guest speaker is Jeremy Eves – Head of Transit, Pantonium Inc.

Last-mile transit in smaller cities and rural areas is a vital service for residents, supporting job retention, access to healthcare, education, and community inclusiveness. It is also a crucial piece of the puzzle for longer distance trips by rail and bus. In the last two years, there have been numerous pilot projects and new initiatives in cities and towns across Ontario. These include:

• Milton – one year on-demand pilot moving passengers to/from the GO station (2015-2016). Very positive passenger feedback. Cost-competitive with conventional transit.
• Innisfil – subsidized Uber in lieu of conventional transit services within the community
• Aurora – ongoing pilot on-demand service from home to/from the GO station, during peak hours.
• Belleville – late night on-demand service to/from any bus stop in the city, replacing fixed-route late night bus.

Pantonium is the technology supplier for the Belleville project. To date, the test has been very successful, as late night transit ridership has doubled. Their system is now being evaluated by other communities including North Bay and Chatham-Kent.

Pantonium is a leader in passenger transportation optimization, supporting public transit, education, and non-emergency medical agencies looking for solutions to move people more efficiently. Their On-Demand Transit (ODT) autonomous dispatch platform solves the problem of route design in low density and rural areas by linking rider demand with the right vehicle at the right time, but with the economics expected in mass transit.

Oct 30

Power of Rail Symposium at Western University

By Transport Action Ontario | Events , Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News

The Southwestern Ontario Transportation Alliance (SWOTA) and Transport Action Ontario (TAO) hosted a symposium on Oct. 12, 2016, promoting better passenger rail service for Western students and faculty. Our special guest was NDP MP Irene Mathyssen. TAO Director Scott St. John introduced SWOTA President Terence Johnson, who discussed the need for an urgent High Performance Rail solution to address the growing infrastructure and mobility gap in Southwestern Ontario. Debunking the myth that Ontario lacks the population density to support a reasonable level of core services, Johnson drew a parallel between London, Ontario and Crianlarich, a village of 185 people in the Highlands of Scotland, which has more frequent and less expensive services to Glasgow than London does to Toronto. 

Drawing upon examples from across the United States to illustrate the comparatively low cost and rapid implementation schedule of High Performance Rail, and the benefits of service integration between train and bus, Johnson set the stage for TAO Acting President Tony Turritin to give a more detailed description of the Network Southwest vision for restoring mobility to the region.

 

Irene Mathyssen, MP for London-Fanshawe, expressed her support for “Network Southwest” and making London a regional hub for Southwestern Ontario. She is working to draft a new version of the “VIA Rail Canada Act,” originally introduced by MP Phil Toone, that would empower VIA’s mandate in relationships with government and the freight railroads.

 

As Tony Turrittin explained, examples of High Performance Rail are close at hand.  In the United States, Amtrak operates fast and very frequent trains between New-York and Albany (227km), Chicago-Milwaukee (137km), Los Angeles-San Diego (205km), and Oakland-Sacramento (144km).  As VIA Rail has withdrawn service in Southwestern Ontario over the last two decades, cities such as Stratford, Kitchener, Guelph and Niagara Falls have put out a cry for help to the Province asking that GO trains be extended to their cities.

 

GO service is highly popular because it is mass transit: frequent, high capacity so reserved seating is not necessary, pairs of wide doors for quick boarding, reliable sechedules, and low fares — all the things that VIA Rail isn’t, Turrittin pointed out.  VIA’s schedules don’t comprise a workable network, on-time performance is very poor, seating is limited, and fares extremely high.  But VIA is an express service which GO is not in its present commuter rail form.  He proposed melding the best of what VIA is supposed to do with GO’s mass transit model.

 

Turrittin closed his presentation by calling on the Province to step into the intercity rail vacuum left by VIA Rail with the GO-train mass transit model.  This is an opportunity.  A new delivery agency is needed with the participation of the region’s municipalities.  The federal government can help by passing on its regional VIA subsidy to the new operating agency.  Some track upgrades are required.  There will be major economic and social benefits flowing from quality intercity express rail in Southwestern Ontario integrated with regional and local transit. 

 

Turritin’s presentation can be viewed here:  nsw-presentation-london-10122016-turrittin

 

Communications expert and TAO member Chris Ryan spoke at the end, encouraging everyone to get involved and write to their politicians.

 

The full “Network Southwest” report is available at http://www.swota.ca/network-southwest/

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