Category Archives for "Intercity Rail and Bus"

Jan 17

Draft Transportation Plan for Southwestern Ontario released by MTO

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus , Southwestern Ontario

On January 17, 2020, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation released the report Connecting the Southwest: A draft transportation plan for southwestern Ontario. Transport Action Ontario is pleased that the plan has been released, as promised in the 2019 Provincial Budget.

The Province has also launched an online survey to gather feedback on the document.

Most of the plan’s 43 Actions deal with expansion or operations of highways and roads. As an organization focusing on rail, bus and transit public transportation, we will not comment further on those Actions.

We are encouraged to see the province taking the public transportation concerns of communities large and small across the region seriously, to reverse the decline of rural and regional mobility. Some of the Actions are province-wide programs or plans already underway. We support these programs such as the Community Transportation Grant Program, the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, Dedicated Gas Tax Funding for Public Transportation and Transit-Oriented Development of stations.

We are pleased that the province will be actively engaging with mayors in a Task Force to build upon the foundations that have been created by the Community Transportation Grants, and focusing on a regional bus network with a rail spine, as recommended in our policy research and reports.

The province is working to identify opportunities for incremental improvements to the existing rail corridors, which could swiftly deliver the more frequent and reliable passenger services that the region needs. It is imperative that these passenger rail improvements are for the benefit of the whole region, including additional services to Sarnia and Windsor.

We hope to see the federal government represented on the new Task Force and working alongside the province as an active partner in bringing about significant improvements that will make the best use of the increased capabilities of the new VIA Rail train fleet that will be arriving in 2021.

We’re encouraged by a focus on passenger convenience, and connectivity between rail and bus services. This is something people in this region have brought up frequently at our public meetings. It is also fundamental to maximizing the benefits to quality of life and minimizing the burden on the public purse.

Bus drivers and train crews are the backbone of a passenger friendly transportation network. They need fair wages and good working conditions to help them deliver outstanding levels of customer service, and that’s an issue we will be watching.

We look forward to seeing concrete steps to fulfill these Actions, including line items in upcoming Provincial Budgets. Inevitably, investment decisions will have to be made between highway, road and public transportation projects. It’s imperative that all investment decisions be evidence-based and incorporate broad-spectrum stakeholder consultation. All plans need to include a contribution to citizens’ wellness and full consideration of their health effects. Economic growth facilitation should not be based on monetary considerations alone but its positive effects on society in general.

Photo: Ontario Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney announcing Connecting the Southwest accompanied by Environment Minister Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London; London Mayor Ed Holder; Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman, MPP for Oxford; Consumer Affairs Minister Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce; and Bob Bailey, MPP for Sarnia-Lambton

Nov 22

Extensive Media Coverage on Return of Passenger Rail to Northern Ontario

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

There has been extensive media coverage recently referencing the return of passenger rail to Northern Ontario and the business case that is currently being developed between Ontario Northland and Metrolinx. The plan is slated to be presented to the Provincial Government for decision making by the end of the year.

Given below are links to recent media articles.

Passenger Rail promise will be fulfilled

Reference to passenger rail transportation proposal and rail solutions for northern Ontario

https://www.northbaynipissing.com/community-story/9706884-trains-planes-and-buses-for-nipissing-on-fedeli-s-2020-to-do-list/

Revival of Passenger Rail from Toronto to Cochrane

https://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/mobile/bringing-buses-and-trains-in-the-north-up-to-speed-1.4683248?cache=?ot=AjaxLayout

Passenger Rail Plan Closed to Being Unveiled

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? 

Oct 13

Write to your Federal Candidates about Northern Ontario Passenger Rail and Bus Services

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

With the federal election fast upon us, Transport Action Canada is conducting multiple campaigns to write to federal candidates about the importance of protecting and restoring inter-community rail and bus service. This includes Northern Ontario.

To send a letter regarding Northern Ontario service restoration, click on the button below:

Oct 11

Huron Central Railway threatens to cease operations

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

A news article published in the Shoreline Beacon on October 7, 2019 portends a grim future for the Huron Central Railway. Genesee & Wyoming will cease operations in the new year if $40 million in funding over five years is not forthcoming for infrastructure repairs. This puts 3,400 jobs in the region at risk. Transport Action Ontario will be discussing this closure with government stakeholders with a view to rescuing this line.

Huron Central Railway says it will cease operations because it hasn’t received money from the federal or provincial government to make necessary improvements to its Sudbury-to-Sault Ste. Marie line.

“For the last few years we have worked diligently with elected officials in Toronto and Ottawa and a dedicated team of local leaders to develop a long-term strategy to sustain (Huron Central Railway)” said Louis Gravel, president of Genesee & Wyoming.

One option that we are asking the Ontario government to consider is merging the line into the Ontario Northland network, as proposed by local advocacy groups CAPT and NEORN.

https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/should-ontario-northland-take-over-huron-central-railway-942170

Photo: Huron Central train in Massey by P199

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