Category Archives for "Press Releases and Open Letters"

Jul 18

Greyhound Canada Downsizing – Urgent Need for Integrated Multi-modal Transportation Strategy

By TAO-admin | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Northern Ontario , Press Releases and Open Letters

On July 9, 2018, Greyhound Canada announced it was downsizing its bus operations and would be abandoning all but one of its bus routes west of Sudbury, effective October 31, 2018.  In Ontario, this will affect over 50 communities in Northern Ontario. In Western Canada, about 20 routes affecting hundreds of communities all across the region will be affected.

Our “parent” organization, Transport Action Canada, has written an urgent letter to Federal Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, requesting federal leadership in developing and implementing an integrated multi-modal transportation strategy that serves all Canadians.

The letter to Minister Garneau can be viewed here:  TAC Greyhound Call-to-Action

Jul 03

Open Letter to Premier Ford and Minister Yakabuski

By TAO-admin | Intercity Rail and Bus , Latest News , Northern Ontario , Press Releases and Open Letters , Urban Transit

Transport Action Ontario would like to congratulation Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Transportation John Yakabuski and the rest of the Ontario PC team on their recent election victory. We were pleased to see the strong emphasis on public transportation in the “Plan for the People”. We have sent an open letter to the Premier and Minister with comments on the public transportation aspects of the platform.

The letter can be viewed here:  TAO-LettertoFord 2018-07-03

Nov 16

Comments on Metrolinx draft Regional Transportation Plan

By TAO-admin | Latest News , Press Releases and Open Letters , Publications and Links , Urban Transit

Metrolinx, the regional transportation planning agency for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, released an updated draft Regional Transportation Plan in September,with comments due by late November.  A collaborative of 12 non-government advocacy organizations spanning the health, environment and transportation sectors, including Transport Action Ontario (TAO), submitted comments to Metrolinx.  Our comments can be viewed in the attachment.  They include points on improved transit planning, aligning transit with land use density and new revenue tools.

Our letter received good coverage in a Toronto Star article  on October 31, including comments by TAO’s Peter Miasek.

Following this article, Peter Miasek of TAO and Gideon Forman from the David Suzuki Foundation penned an Op-ed that amplified on the major points in the letter, particularly on getting politics out of transit planning,  the need for new revenue tools and the need to connect land use and transit planning decisions.   The Op-ed was published in the Toronto Star on November 8 and can be viewed here.

Jul 21

Transport Action Ontario rejects high-speed political vanity project, calls for high-performance rail plan

By TAO-admin | Press Releases and Open Letters

TORONTO – In a hard-hitting policy statement, the transportation advocacy group, Transport Action Ontario (TAO), calls for the rejection of the provincial government’s high-speed rail (HSR) proposal and its replacement with a more [click on title to continue] practical, high-performance rail (HPR) alternative.

“Will the Government of Ontario’s rosy predictions about the benefits of HSR actually materialize?” asks TAO president Robert Wightman. “The odds are they will not. Even in countries where HSR is deemed to be a success, there are problems.”

The HSR proposal endorsed by the current Government of Ontario is estimated to cost as much as $30 billion and can’t be fully built to Windsor until at least 2031. Among the points TAO finds deadly to the Ontario HSR scheme are:

  • An inability to operate at true high speed between Toronto and Kitchener, where the trains must share GO’s lower-speed tracks;
  • The need for high station platforms, which will boost construction costs by requiring both high- and low-level platforms for HSR and GO trains;
  • The lack of a well-developed network of rail, bus and transit services to feed passengers to the HSR trains and make truly car-free travel possible; and
  • The bypassing of major centres on the two existing Toronto-London passenger lines, including Brampton, Stratford, St. Marys, Oakville, Burlington, Brantford, Woodstock and Ingersoll.

TAO describes the government’s Toronto-London-Windsor HSR proposal as “a vanity project on which politicians fixate, similar to other politically-motivated mega-projects, such as Toronto’s controversial Union Pearson Express.”

The public advocacy group recommends its replacement with a better and more affordable high-performance rail (HPR), which has been proven on many comparable rail corridors around the world, including the U.S.

HPR includes major improvements to the existing infrastructure to boost speed and frequency, new trains and revisions to the fare structure to provide a fast, frequent and affordable service that can be running in less than half the time of HSR at a much lower cost. Because HPR is implemented incrementally, it provides improvements the public can use every step of the way.

HPR’s multiple benefits are outlined in the TAO booklet, This is High-Performance Rail

Says Wightman, “This is the course of urgent action TAO is advocating. Pursuing HSR after so many failed attempts over nearly 40 years will only lead to further deterioration of our public transportation system, the competitiveness of our economy and our quality of life. We cannot afford to waste years on another gee-whiz scheme that is, at best, a pre-election vote chaser.”

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For further information, please contact:

Robert Wightman

President

Transport Action Ontario

Cell: (416) 540-5764

r.wightman@sympatico.ca

(Double-click on link below to download press release)

Why HSR Press Release Final 170718

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