All Posts by Transport Action Ontario

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Jul 17

Unlocking Rail Tourism to Benefit the Canadian Economy

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

Canada’s international tourism sector has been in a serious decline. A 2018 report produced for the federal government by McKinsey offers a menu of reasons for the decline while quantifying the upside, which is large. Considerable emphasis was given to national transportation infrastructure deficiencies.

Transport Action Ontario has written to four federal ministers, including the Minister of Economic Development, pointing out the convergence of tourism and national mobility. Federal action to enable VIA Rail benefits both Canadian travellers and our tourism industry. Rail travel is particularly attractive to the 55-80 year old cohort, which has the financial means for a spectrum of services.

Our letter urged the federal government to work with its provincial counterparts to identify and quantify where rail can satisfy the needs of international visitors and regular passengers.

The letter can be viewed below.

Jun 30

Engagement with Southwestern Ontario Transportation Task Force

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

In January, 2020, Ontario released its Draft Transportation Plan for Southwestern Ontario, entitled Connecting the Southwest. It recommended several encouraging new actions supportive of improved passenger rail and regional bus services. However, progress on these actions has been largely stalled.

In March, 2021, the province established a Transportation Task Force consisting of mayors, chiefs and other stakeholders, chaired by Mayor Ed Holder of London. The Task Force is charged with providing recommendations to the government by March, 2022, presumably building and improving on the 2020 draft plans.

The Task Force convened a rail workshop on June 29. Transport Action Ontario circulated a presentation prior to the event and actively participated in the workshop with 3 delegates. The workshop went well, with good dialogue on the major issues/steps needed to boost freight and passenger rail in the region. We expect further opportunities for input as the Task Force moves towards a final report.

Our circulated presentation can be viewed below.

Jun 25

Cut-and-Cover Option for Yonge North Subway Extension

By Transport Action Ontario | Latest News , Urban Transit

Controversy continues in York Region over the routing of the proposed Yonge North Subway Extension (YNSE). The preferred option from Metrolinx is Option 3A, which involves deep tunneling below 60 homes to reach a surface station at the GO line (“Bridge Station”). Both Markham and Vaughan Councils have voted against Option 3A.

In April, Transport Action Ontario submitted an alternative – Option 2A, involving cut-and-cover across vacant lands. Metrolinx is evaluating this option. We have now supplemented our proposal by also recommending cut-and-cover under the northern portion of Yonge St. This offers cost savings and simplifies the elevation transition from a tunnel under Yonge St to a surface station at the GO line. Metrolinx has indicated they will evaluate this option.

Our submission can be viewed below:

Jun 18

Transport Action urges Investment to Accelerate VIA Rail Project Delivery

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

Transport Action Ontario engages in frequent correspondence and dialogue with VIA Rail on many topics, usually related to delivery of various improvement and expansion projects. We have become increasingly frustrated with VIA’s incapability, likely as a result of federal actions and neglect, to participate in discussions on Canada’s sustainable mobility future and achieve the required transformational change.

We have written to the three federal Ministers of Infrastructure, Environment and Transport expressing our concerns and look forward to a meaningful reply from them.

Our letter can be viewed below.

Jun 15

Online meeting with special guest Corina Moore, CEO of Ontario Northland

By Transport Action Ontario | Events , Northern Ontario

The Northeastern Ontario Rail Network and Transport Action Ontario welcome publication of the long-awaited Initial Business Case for restoring Northeastern Passenger Rail Service by MTO and Ontario Northland on May 25th, and we are encouraged that the Government of Ontario plans to move forward with the restoration of passenger rail service based on the clear social equity need for this service and whole-economy spin-off benefits for the north.
To explain what this announcement means for the region, and what the next steps will be, Corina Moore, CEO of Ontario Northland, will be joining us for a live webinar on June 23rd, 2021.

Ontario Northland:
Passenger Rail Vision

Wednesday June 23rd, 11am

Corina Moore, CEO of Ontario Northland, will discuss Ontario Northland’s services, impact and vision, and the recently published initial business case for restoring Northern Ontario Passenger Rail.


If you don’t have broadband Internet or can’t access Zoom, you can also dial in by phone. Please register online to get the phone numbers and passcode.

Photograph: Polar Bear Express at Cochrane, Ontario Northland