All Posts by Transport Action Ontario

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Aug 22

Lac Megantic TSB report skims surface of deep problems in Canadian railroading

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus



Transport Action Ontario colleague, Greg Gormick,  authored an Op-Ed in the Toronto Star on August 21, 2014, entitled “Lac Megantic report skims surface of deep problems”.  This was a followup article to his earlier publication, also in the Toronto Star, on May 18, 2014.  As in the earlier article, it indicates that decades of public policy and investment  failures is where the blame must be placed.  It points out that Canada’s major international competitors, including the USA, take a different approach and use public-private partnerships to invest in the freight railway network.


The article can be viewed here



Jul 23

“Surface Subway” Only Part of Solution – Toronto also needs Downtown Relief Line

By Transport Action Ontario | Urban Transit


Transport Action Ontario’s  2013 report “Regional Rapid Rail”, analyzing the benefits and costs of an intelligently electrified GO Rail system to develop a “surface subway” for the GTHA, has received strong endorsement from transit professionals and elected officials.    In 2014, the Ontario Liberals announced their “Regional Express Rail” commitment, and John Tory, a leading candidate for Toronto Mayor, announced his “SmartTrack” platform.  Both are very analogous to our Regional Rapid Rail concept.


Some stakeholders have proposed that this surface subway could replace Toronto’s proposed Downtown Relief Line (DRL) subway.  As discussed in an Opinion column published in the Toronto Star on July 23, 2014,  Transport Action Ontario believes that both the electrified GO service and the DRL are needed, and quickly.


The opinion piece can be viewed here




Jul 07

Interview on Canada AM regarding lessons from Lac Megantic

By Transport Action Ontario | Intercity Rail and Bus



On July 7, Transport Action Ontario’s Peter Miasek was interviewed on Canada AM, CTV’s flagship morning news show.  The interview concerned the lessons from the  Lac Megantic disaster – what has the government changed to date, and what more needs to be done.


Miasek pointed out that Canada’s rail industry has numerous problems – safety, capacity, secondary line abandonment, and the decline of passenger rail.  These are all symptoms of a problem of lack of capital.   He recommended taking a page from the USA experience, where public-private partnerships between the federal government, state governments and the private railroad industry has lead to a revitalization of this important sector of our economy.


The full  interview can be viewed here.   Caution: the audio volume is a little too low, but can be comprehended without difficulty.   Our thanks to CTV News for this broadcast.

CTV – Canada AM 2014-07-07




Jun 24

Move the GTHA – Open Letter to Premier Wynne

By Transport Action Ontario | Press Releases and Open Letters , Urban Transit



On June 24, the Move the GTHA collaborative, including Transport Action Ontario, sent a letter to Premier Wynne congratulating her on her election victory and offering to continue to work with her government  to increase funding for public transportation and active transportation options.

The full letter can be viewed here:   MTGTHA-LettertoWynne2014-06-25



Jun 03

Pembina Institute Issues Updated Report Analyzing GTHA Provincial Transit Investment Platforms

By Transport Action Ontario | Urban Transit



As readers know, Transport Action Ontario is part of the “Move the GTHA” collaborative of non-government organizations that is working towards improving public and political acceptance of new revenue tools for transportation.  The collaborative also includes Pembina Institute.


Pembina has just released an analysis of GTHA transit investment and expansion platforms from Ontario’s major political parties:  Green Party,  Liberal Party, New Democratic Party and Progressive Conservative Party.  This updates their interim analysis released in March and also posted on our website.   Five guiding principles were used as the criteria for the analysis:

  • Rapid transit for the whole region
  • A dedicated fund that puts transit first
  • New dollars to build new transit
  • Encouraging mode shift
  • Fast-tracking transit improvements

Evaluations of the parties’ platforms on each of these five topics were presented, and a score was assigned:  “On track for transit”, “Gathering speed”, “Some forward movement”, and “Stuck in traffic”.


The Pembina Report can be found here:



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